14 November 2018
Jinsha River landslide: breaching has started
Xinhua, the official news agency of China, is reporting that the Jinsha River landslide at Jomda on the border between Tibet and China has breached.
Chinese authorities on Monday initiated a national emergency response after a landslide hit southwest China, leading to the formation of a barrier lake. The China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Emergency Management jointly activated a level-IV emergency response, the lowest level, on Monday, the ministry said in a statement. A landslide hit the border area between Sichuan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region on Nov. 3, leading to the formation of a barrier lake blocking a section of the Jinsha River.
The article includes a number of images of the site, of which two are worth examining:-
This image appears to be fairly early in the breach process. Note the evidence of stripping of vegetation on the opposite valley wall – this was a very energetic landslide event. Meanwhile, this image shows the breaching in more detail:-
Note the scale of the channel that has been excavated here to initiate the breaching event. The authorities have succeeded in lowering the height of the dam to an impressive degree, greatly reducing the size of a potential flood. They have certainly learnt the lessons of the successful management of the Tangjiashan dam ten years ago, and remain the absolute masters of these operation. Meanwhile, CGTN has tweeted:-
Local authorities have activated the level-I flood emergency response system and released evacuation notice as the flood in the Jinsha River barrier lake expected to hit Lijiang City, SW #China‘s Yunnan Province pic.twitter.com/kpHTmzAS7G
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) November 14, 2018
But there is very little additional information, and as the area is cloudy there is no satellite imagery.