Red alert as Koshi level rises

ITAHARI: After the water level in Koshi River rose after a week-long downpour, red flag has been hoisted here to signal alert.

Thirty sluice gates of the Koshi Barrage were opened today to allow the floodwater to flow downstream, according to Haripur Police Post.

Rajendra Dhakal, DSP, District Police Office, Sunsari, said only 23 sluice gates were opened till last evening. He said the water level declined this evening.

A team of officials from Water Induced Disaster Division Office Biratnagar, that had visited the site, said the situation was not very critical. Yesterday’s flow of water in the river was 1,62,000 cusec, the highest this year, Er Mohan Bhattarai said. This evening the flow receded to 1,54,000 cusec.

When the eastern embankment at Paschim Kusaha was breached last year, the river had recorded 1,68,000 cusec of water. He said the breach had been caused due to the lack of repairs, and not because of excessive volume of water.

The embankment can hold 9,50,000 cusec of water. In 1968, the water flow was an all-time high of 9,13,000 cusec. As the water flow crosses the 1,00,000 cusec mark, it could invite some sort of danger. The highest pressure last year was 2,00,000 cusec.