TWENTY-FOUR days have passed by when the deadly disaster of the mountain collapse left 19 people dead, seven injured and six missing at Attabad and Sarat villages in upper Hunza. The disaster completely destroyed 54 houses and partially damaged another 60.
The calamity left the population of 1,652 displaced, completely blocked 1.3 km of the Karakoram Highway and filled the Hunza river with debris which blocked the river completely, as a result of which the river took the shape of a dam and started moving upstream towards the Gojal valley.
The government machinery soon become active, its officials visiting the affected people and making false pledges of clearing the blockade of the Hunza river within a few days.
However, no action has yet been taken with the exception of providing two choppers to airlift people to and from Gojal.
This has left the people of Gojal – Hunza very frightened as the water level in the river, which has taken the shape of a dam, is rising at an alarming level.
The river has overflowed into Ayeenabad village, situated on the bank of the Hunza river, and is on the move to take over Shishket and Gulmit villages.
Along with the rise of the river towards the population, public sentiments are also rising against inaction of the government to clear the debris and release the water,
If immediate action is not taken to release the water, tens of thousands of people would be displaced and properties destroyed upstream.
As for the downstream, if the deadly river is left to make its own way it would devour everything that comes in its way, including the bridges that connect Hunza and Nager to the rest of the region.
This will prove to be more deadly than the mountain collapse that destroyed Attabad and Sarat villages.
Gojal – Hunza