Landslide lake threatens massive floods N.Pakistan

By Manzar Shigri

GILGIT, Pakistan, March 25 (Reuters) – Authorities in northern Pakistan are struggling to prevent the bursting of a natural dam formed by a landslide that could affect more than 50,000 people and sever an important trade link with China.

The landslide, in early January, killed 14 people and blocked the Hunza River, creating a huge lake that inundated several villages and left about 25,000 people stranded.

Residents says the government has not done enough to get supplies and contain the threat of a breach.

“We know it’s a natural disaster, but we are not satisfied with the government’s belated efforts,” said Mirza Hussain, a lawmaker in the district assembly.

Officials are scrambling to ease pressure on the dam by creating a spillway, and say they do not see any immediate threat of a breach. But residents say the situation is extremely precarious.

“The water level is rising every day, adding to the pressure which could lead to a breach in the lake,” Hussain said.

People like Amin Khan, a resident of Aina Abad, a village where people now almost cut off above the new lake, fault the government for the slow trickle of relief supplies — many of which now have to be airlifted.

“I have lost my house and land due to this lake, but we are not getting sufficient relief. Its really pathetic,” said the 32-year-old Khan, who runs a computer shop 28 km (17 miles) away from his residence in a commercial neighbourhood.   Continued…

Also read a report in GURADIAN

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