“Hunza River lake would not burst, David Petley’s report is wrong”: Asad Zamin, DC Gilgit

PT Report

Gilgit, May 4: The report prepared by Dr. David Petley is wrong and the lake formed on Hunza River is not going to burst. Government experts have rejected any chance of lake burst.

These views were expressed by the Deputy Commissioner of Gilgit district while briefing the media about evacuation plan set up for downstream areas, at his office. He said that necessary measures are being taken because 1300 households in Hunza – Nagar and Gilgit district would be affected by a flood that is likely to be triggered by over-topping of the lake.

“There is no chance of lake outburst and we request the local populations to stay calm”, the DC, who is also the director general of district disaster management authority said.

“Government of Pakistan, FOCUS Pakistan and other relevant institutions have teamed up to ensure safety of lives and property to the optimum in case of heavy flood that might be caused by over – topping”, Asad reportedly said. He also said that the 10, 000 internally displaced people will be sheltered at nine (9) relief camps after evacuation to safer locations.

Commenting on removal of the Bailey Bridge in Danyore and the resulting isolation of Danyore and other localities he said that the Jalalabad – Danyore Road will be paved and expanded within a week to ensure supplies for Hunza – Nagar district and other adjacent areas.

The commissioner emphasized that the measures are being taken on precautionary basis.

It is pertinent to note here that Dr. David Petley has calculated June 9 as a probable date for the spillover to take place, while also saying that the actual date might be earlier depending on volume of water in the Hunza River. He has also said that there is a substantial risk of dam burst with the passage of time.

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  1. Thanks for this update on the view of a senior government official on the situation at Attabad. My report suggested that the possibility of a breach was substantial, not inevitable, but clearly the government disagree with this. My understanding is the reports have also been written on the likelihood of a breach by the World Bank, NESPAK and an Italian team from EV-K2-CNR. I am interested to know whether those reports came to different conclusions to mine.

  2. I would like to know the basis of DC Gilgit’s statement.Has he fully read Dr Petley report.What Dr Petley had say in the report was based on historic behaviour of landslide dams and the present dam. he had then given high probability of dam failure.Dr Petley had also given very excellent advice on disaster mitigation advice. If there are any other expert reports which said dam will not burst,DC saheb should make them public. As citizens ,it is our right to know.
    DC sb, if the Dam does burst, what will you do?.
    Dr Dave Petley to best of mine informations, volunteer his time and expertise and did not take any consultancy money.He has website which is updated daily about Attabad landslide. We peoples of Hunza are thankful to him and his university.It is after his report, the Governemnt wake up and international world come to know about Attabad. We peoples of Hunza request Dr Petley to please come and visit the Attabad again very soon, not only to advice on Attabad but in Hunza area we have very large numbers of landslide and avalanches.What will we do to handle them.
    Dr Alesandrio world bank consultant had also visit Attabad and he submit report.People say he also had given high chance of dam failure.He also had give recommendation to Government .Is government follow his recommendation?.

    As a nation,we should learn to respect the views of experts and not become experts in every thing. If you recall what NDMA ex-Chairman had said after landslide of 4th Jan.?, then he had given date the over-topping happen on 17th April etc. None of them came true

    I still request all my brothers and sisters of Hunza, that we should fully cooperate with DC Hunza in these very hard times. We should follow all orders of Governement and FOCUS in evacuation etc.

    We pray to Allah that dam failure does not happen; but we should be prepared.

    May Allah protect us all.Ameen

  3. Dr Petley has a clear understanding of the lake formed on Hunza River. He is an expert in his profession. I think we should follow what Dr. Petley has reported. May God save our sweet motherland.

  4. The dam might seem to be rather stable at the moment, but there can not be an absolute guarantee that the lake won’t drain catastrophically. Especially mass movements, causing displacement ways, may weaken or break the dam and represent a permanent threat. Even if the chances of a lake outburst might be relative low, it is extremely important to improve and maintain all actions for hazard risk management, because if the lake drains suddenly, that will have very far reaching consequences – PAMIR TIMES and the report of Prof. David Petley have highlighted repetitively this issue.

  5. “Hunza River lake would not burst”.
    I desperately want to know, how Mr. Asad Zamin analyzed dam’s stability and is expressing his findings so confidently?

  6. I am sure this statement by the DC, Gilgit is again misleading and based on aspirations of a typical bureaucrat. I have never heard and read in any media (print, electronic or internet) that there is any technical advisory body that exists to advise the GB government on this issue. They have been leading their own theory of assumption from the day one of this landslide.

    They were not aware of the magnitude of this event and they were claiming that they need no assistance and can clear it in two weeks. They stopped the United Nations agencies to help the people. It is the criminal negligence and ignorance that has resulted in accumulation of such a huge amount of water behind a very unstable wall of debris which can very easily wash out everything in its way.

    They probably think that the people of Hunza-Nagar are living in the stone ages and can not understand and read reports. They even do not seem to have the decency to show respect to people who have been working voluntarily since the very beginning of this event. I doubt their willingness to accept what FOCUS has been doing there.

    They have mishandled this whole situation from the day one and they seem to have not learnt any lesson. Their inaction has turned this landslide into a real disaster.

    The political government is sitting idol, perhaps waiting to see the entire population of downstream flashed away by the flood (God forbidden).

    My humble suggestion to Wazir Baig sahab and Bech Mutabiat Shah, is to resign gracefully before everything is gone. We know your government is least botherd if the worst thing happens to the whole Hunza.

    May Allah save us from these people.

  7. Thanks Dr. Petley for your constant efforts and timely update, please keep up efforts. as far as the Statement of DC is concern, we can match it with the statements of senior officials visited the lake site, for example the statements of our Ex-Governors, situation and ground relaities has turned down their statements and claims.


    Shah Zaman

  8. It has been a long time since this diaster has happened.I suppose this was not the ony diasterof the region for years but on of the major . What i see this particular diaster has given us is that it has given chance to many people to act as experts and become scientists and analysts in days and weeks,which is normally not possible. Here are some of thos famous Scientists and Analystists
    Mr.Qamar Zaman Qaira….The relase will be made in Two weeks after January 04.
    Wazir Baig……..Even the Dam will be for the benefit of Local People
    General(Retired) Farooq ………It will spill Exactly on April 17,2010
    DC Zamin….. Reports of all Analystists are wrong i know it better.

    I am Confident we will not require foreign experts in furure having the above given Scientists.

  9. The level of water in the lake developed on Hunza river is increasing day by day and the upper part of Hunza valley has already been effected and people are suffering due to inundation of their land,houses and property. As the technical experts say that there are more chances of bursting of this lake which is like a Dam, now how can one say without any argument that the dam will not burst. What actions have so far taken to prevent the dam from bursting. It is the need of the time to take this matter seriously and international experts be called by the govt to save the peoples lives and property.

  10. Dear all readers of Pamir times
    First I am grateful to Proff. Dr. Petly for his effort to awaking the institutions and informing the community about the growing dam burst risk at Attabad. We all technical and relevant professional should look into monitoring blog developed by him.
    The statement floated by DC Gilgit is alarming for innocent residents of the region as well as for response institutions. How a layman in such field can comment on a scientific report directly. What is the basis? We have to think about the statement put forwarded by Head District Disaster Management Authority. If the report of DAVID is wrong then why government is investing to built the emergency shelters and emergency evacuation plans.
    It seems how much our local government is capable to mainstream disaster risk in to development as well as emergency management. We are lucky that these scientists are leading scientists who are giving guidance and comments about the issue. That is true that who can guarantee that this dam will not burst? Scientist giving put forwarding comments with the scientific logics, although the real risk cannot be forecasted 100% but can be assessed near to real. It is not wise to directly reject a scientific research report. Unfortunately we are not incorporating the research results in to our development like western countries. Therefore there is a big gap between government decision makers, planners, and academia and research scientists. It is clear for a sustainable, risk conscious development the results of the researches should be basis for decision making, planning and implementation as we learnt from Kashmir earthquake. Earthquake was highlighted in research journal by different professors of Azad Kashmir University department of Applied Geology.
    If this lake bursts and thousands of lives and property lost then who will response. I am not sure that local government has so much resource to respond. The only option we have is our strong army who can help these poor vulnerable and susceptible people. So precautionary measure are absolute options at the movement


    Ejaz Karim

  11. I am requesting to all people those who are in the range of this effected area please don’t sleep think about yourself that what would be better for the coming time it is not a joke this is a natural warning for the humans use mind if suppose this lake going to burst then we have noting any option. We pray to Allah that dam failure does not happen; but we should be prepared overself.
    May Allah protect us all.Ameen
    Fida Hussain
    Cell No +92 345-9579522

  12. DrPetly’s report is surely based on theory of probability,which can’t be negated out rightly.Although due to zigzag nature of 13 km long lake between the rocky mountains,the entire pressure 0f the lake is not exerted on the blockade,rather it is divided and shared by the intervening sides,yet no harm in taking in safety and preventive measures.I wish Govt of Glt Baltistan,WAPDA and energy sector avails this opportunity and plan some mega hydel project ,with negligible cost,this may suffice for electricity needs of entire valley,rather entire Hunza,Nagar and Gilgit.

    1. I agree with Mr Imtiaz opinion, this may be the opportunity given t us by Allah(a blessing in disguise).
      As our dull leaders have failed to pile up even a single dam so this may be the opportunity to build a mega dam which will not only prevent the suspicion of collapse of the lake but also will help the local people who have lost their property to start a new era of life.

      May ALLAH bless our country and give some brain to our leaders who only join to make money and enjoy the status and do nothing for people.

  13. I am really disappointed to read the comments given by DC Gilgit. What a non professional statement. I think he have his right to put up his views but he CAN NOT comment on a Professional Report like that. I think this is the price we have to pay as a nation to have such Heroes. Dr. Petley have done a remarkable job and updated the information right from the beginning sitting thousands miles away. I think we should take hats off for Dr. Petely interest in this matter.

    AT the same time its a matter great shame that what happened to our own Indigenous Water Experts. As I know there is a plenty of such so called experts sitting in NESPAK, UET Lahore and other institutions who should come forward and guide the people and relevant authorities. I think there knowledge in limited to Bathroom Hydraulics only. If they will keep silent then Scientists like DC Gilgit will crop up.

    Come on guys and take some professional approach.

    May Allah save us from these natural as well as human HAZARDS!

  14. I twice made my statement on the theory of the Attabad situation

    the government whatever academia has to say has a job to do

    they have put people first

    the long term aspects of Attabad lake Hunza should have been reviewed much sooner with International assistance to secure the lake as a reservoir, that is feasible,
    but people have been too busy being elected for 2 years and getting their banks into deficits by Equity, this happened in 1980.

    If we have rescue and International engineering capable units what
    exactly are we doing with them; making them all take second career training in financial services ? Or are they still fighting their way out of a bridge at Baghdad
    rather alike Arnhem which Britain is still trying to get over the shock of, let alone Casino. Most of the men got up and carried on up through Italy and across France and Germany and put an end to the nuthouse. Since 1980 we seem to be back in it again, money, efficiency, cost analysis, feasibility study, environmental condemnation of dams, anti-carbon, World Bank Reports … what the hell does the world bank know about dam engineering ? I am beginning to doubt Durham University knows anything. Which is sad.

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