Monday, 26 November 2018

Responding to the recent twin landslides in Jomda that blocked the Drichu/ Yangtze river in Tibet

Date - November 15, 2018

A  Five Point Call to Action on the twin landslide in Jomda and Palyul that blocked Drichu on October 11, 2018 and November 3, 2018.

1.     A thorough and transparent scientific investigation into the real cause or the factors that could have led to the two consecutive major landslides in the Bolu Township on Jomda and Palyul region of eastern Tibet must be carried out. Preventive measure should be put up in place to prevent any reoccurrence of such landslides in the region as well as other parts of Tibet.

2.     Hundreds of thousands people temporarily displaced due to damage to their homes should be given utmost support to, fully and quickly, recover from the tragedy and rebuilt their homes.

3.     A proper disaster response mechanism should be set up across Tibet to swiftly respond to any natural disasters, such action could minimize loss of life and damage to property

4.     A review on the mode of development activities across Tibet should be carried out to ascertain if excessive mining, construction of dams, roads and tunneling through mountains could have triggered any of the recent landslides and exacerbated negative impact of rising temperature on the plateau.

5.       We are extremely disappointed and surprised at the slow and weak response to the second landslide. The first heavy machine to remove earth from the landslide arrived on the site only on the 6th day of the tragedy, and took another 5 days to release water from the barrier lake as the scale of the landslide was utterly disproportionate to the scale of response the Chinese government put in.

By Zamlha Tempa Gyaltsen, Head of the Environment Desk of the Tibet Policy Institute,