“62 more days for a spillover to take place”, projects Dr David Petley

Monitoring Desk

Islamabad, April 20: Keeping everything (meaning water inflow rate, seepage and height of the lake barrier) constant a spillover from the lake formed on  Hunza River is most probably going to take 62 more days.

This logical projection has been made on a dedicated blog initiated by Dr. David Petley, a landslide expert and Wilson Professor at the University of Durham.  Dr Petley had recently visited the landslide area and presented a report that helped in bringing this lake hazard to the limelight.

For more information visit David’s Hunza Landslide Blog

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  1. PT ;thank you for highlighting Dr. David Petley’s monitoring blog about Attabad landslide. He is a dedicated professional and a true caring friend of people of Hunza.Thank you Dr Dave Petley.

    One word of caution: Dr.Petley very rightly has put a big caveat in red on his blog;

    Important: The calculation of days to over-topping is subject to substantial uncertainty and must not be used for planning purposes. The rate at which the lake fills changes considerably with time according to variations in the rate of inflow, the rate of seepage, the rate of excavation of the channel, the shape of the valley etc. Under some circumstances, such as an earthquake, a landslide into the lake or rapid piping failure the dam could fail prior to overtopping.”

    In his latest blog update on Attabad Dr Petley has reported:

    “The water level at the landslide dam at Attabad in Pakistan continues to rise (see the data on my Hunza landslide monitoring site), with the reported freeboard being less than 30 metres. However, I have to report a very much more worrying development.”This sinkhole has apparently opened up on the upstream side of the dam. The most likely cause of a sinkhole is that erosion is occurring in the core of the dam, although this could be localised. However, given that seepage is now accelerating again, the signs are worrying.”

    Based on the increased seepage rate,sink hole, more landslides happening, noises hear in Shishkat, we all should be very cautions, and in state of increased alert of a possible dam failure (we pray it never happens).We should avoid going near dam barrier site,avoid going near river banks,avvoid going near areas where there is landsliding,avoid going near sink holes AND fully cooperate with the Governemt and FOCUS in evacuation plans and all of their advice.
    May Allah protect us all.

  2. You need to bring this latest update to the kind notice of Our Ex Honorable Governor Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, who was of the view that this will take a week.

    1. Thank you sincerely for featuring my data site on your news site. I will continue to update the data every day or two. Please let me know if there is anything I can add to this that would be helpful.

      My estimate of the date of overtopping is generated by looking at the rate of loss of freeboard, and then extraploating forwards. At the moment the prediction is consistently around 20th June, but please can I stress that this can and probably will change. The date could become earlier if the rate of filling of the lake increases, or if something occurs to cause the dam to collapse. No-one should assume that a flood will not happen until that date. On the other hand, becasue the valley becomes wider and longer as the lake level gets higher, the overtopping could occur later.

      The situation is very dynamic and needs almost continuous monitoring. I will do what I can from here. Please get in touch with me if I can help:


  3. Where is the imported Ex Governor of GB Qmara Zaman Qaira…who wants to listen only sensible talking…..who may be never know the proper spelling and definition of sensible…..he himself is without sense who predicted without any knowledge about the deadline of over flow…and the 2nd most important person who is responsible for the disaster in Gojal valley is Rt. General Farooq Ex chairman of NDMA…who left NDMA after destroying every thing in Hunza…they need to be prosecuted in public so no more Govt. officials dare to play with the lives and properties of the people of this country

  4. Kind regards for Dr David Petley for his dedicated work. As he has got experties in the concerned issue his estimate may be authentic and precise. 62 more days for spill over can create a sense of frustration among the public. The influx of water will rise due to the approching summer season, which will rampage the river bank area of lower Gojal.
    The local administration needs to speed up their work and not let a stone unturned to overcome the very crises. Dr David’s expertise and analysis is a golden book for the administration, thus they need to avail his feedbacks and suggestions.

  5. I do appricaite Dr. David for his concerns professional updates/ feedback on Pamirtimes. A BIG thank you Doc. I wonder if our youth from Gilgit-Baltistan are thinking to go for studies in universities abroad including where Dr. David is teaching. We need to influance G-B governmnt to allocate budget for young people to attend short/ long term courses in natural disaster issues.

    Darjat Islamabad

  6. I have updated the website this morning based on the latest FOCUS and NDMA data. My best estimate remains 19th June 2010, but once again please note that overtopping could happen before this date and with little warning.


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