FWO working to stop sudden lake outburst: COAS

General Kayani being briefed about the construction of spillway. ISPR Photo

PT Report

Gulmit, May 11: General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Chief of Army Staff, visited Hunza valley today to observe the devastation caused by the January 4th landslide and also see the excavation work carried out by FWO for draining the lake formed on Hunza River. The Army Chief also met affected people in Gulmit Gojal and assured them full support of Pakistan Army in the times ahead. He also said that all excavation work has been carried by the Army and it has not received even a single penny from the government, so far.

He also advised the people to keep their expectations regarding loss compensation very low.

Earlier he was briefed by FWO personnel at the lake barrier about the work carried out so far. General Ashfaq praised the work carried out by FWO and instructed them to further expedite the pace of work and make all out efforts to stop erosion of the spillway.

It is pertinent to note here that one scenario for lake outburst can be fast erosion of the spillway, after overtopping takes place.

Tight security measurements had been put in place for the General’s visit.

ISPR: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani today visited the site of landslide that blocked Hunza River near Attaabad. He was briefed about the progress of work on spillways, being undertaken by Frontier Works Organization. COAS appreciated the efforts being made by Frontier Works Organization for safe restoration of Hunza River. He also interacted with the people of affected area. Earlier on arrival in the area, COAS was received by Lieutenant General Shahid Niaz, Engineer-in-Chief and Lieutenant General Tahir Mehmood, Corps Commander Rawalpindi.

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  1. Onece again thanks to the genral for sparing time to visit the disaster hit area as the region remained the focal point for the army.But it is very much disparaging to inculcate time again by the high ups of the country that the affectees shouldnt demand or expect more from the governiment.Though its beyond the understnading of a commonman that our country is not in a true sens a sovergein country to do any thing for the wlefare of its people because its now under the contoll of America and its alliances.Our governiment is making their lords happy at the cost of their people and future of its next generations.The so called emocracy is just safguarding the interests of some elite classes and they have no concernd whether the country is moving in the right direction or not.We will have to sacrifce for untill we will not be having a reformer from the lower class becuase now we are enjoying aristocracy not democracy by exploitning the innocent,ignorant and poor people in the name of democracy.We are now hopless as well as hapless if my country couldnt do any thing for me and my village in such a harsh time then how i will convince myself to be loyal.

  2. Did you all observe a weakness on media reports on Atabad Disasrter? A weak presentation of problems and requirement to deal with by our nation, the Hunzuktz. TV reporters present what they understand and see in their short span vists. Yesterday, a reporter on a tv was saying that “becouse the people belong to viliages and feeling shy to apear before cameras.” This is the reponsibility of the local leaders and commuity organizations to make teams and train them for media coverage specially in the IDPs camp Altit and Tehsil headquater Galmit. It is shameful act for us that hard relities and true problems and needs are not presenting on national media effffectively inspite of a region of highest educated people in Pakistan.

  3. Let us be positive in this hour of tragidy.

    We would like to thank the brave soldiers/officer of Pakistan Army for all that they have done. FWO has also done good job although a bit slow.They could have deployed more machines. FOCUS has done great job. Thank you all.We peoples of Hunza are grateful

    Attabad landslide was a statistical 200 year landslide.Let us be honest, NDMA was not prepared for this nor did it have expertise. FOCUS invited overseas landslide experts–like Dr Dave Petley who shared their expert view,it is after this the government sort of woke up to the scale of disaster and potential damage it can cause.

    Let us all unite and offer full support and cooperation to local and district government, Pakistan army and NGO FOCUS so that they can help us and the loss of life and property is minimum.

    In my opinion, this is the second largest natural disaster that has stuck Pakistan after 2005 Earthquake.

  4. We always observed that when ever in Pakistan the country ruled by army in that period many new projects and construction work done by their Govt. This is also a good step taken by General Kayani, he visited the areas and observe the devastation cause by attabad land slide, In Shishkat more than 70 houses are totally destroyed and this village is the most affected village by economically, my point of view is that General Kayani shoud also met with the local people of Shishkat, because Shishkat is one of the village which has high ratio in military services.

  5. I understand that this is the third incident of the recent history in this region. during the construction of the KKH a glacier bound landslide blocks the river hunza at shishkat bridge which formed a lake and the whole morphalogy of the upstream was changed due to the meandring of river. the lake outbursts quickly by the blasting of the dam material by the FWO. the second incident was happened near Deh further upstream however it was not so much material and the river keeps on flowing.
    these GLOFS glacial lake outburst floods are uncontrolable from the source as its located very far away from the settled areas. there are few glaciers which are surging type and keeps on changing its routes with the passage of time. that is why the ghulkin glacier is always creating small scale problems. FWO has constructed over 6 bridges still water will be flowing some where else.
    this landslide is so huge and muck is so enormous that it blocks the whole rive for a very long time and there is no way to blast this material because it can also generate the flood. FWO authorities are trying hard to achieve the targer. we should support them and for the time the problem is whether it will break slowly or it will create a huge flood. we should be ready for the worst. lets pray to Allah to suceed us.

  6. It is sahame for the government of P{akistan and for the FWO that they are unable to save our area from submerging…the whole responsibility goes to NDMA ex chairman Rt. General Farooq and Ex imported Governor Qamar Zaman Qaira….they need to be prosicuted in supreem court….
    I totally disagree with Sha Ali’s comment….Army and FWO have done nothing except halicopter Air Safari…and waited for the water to overflow itself and save the money and keep in their pockets.
    this is FWO who have mess up all the work…if it has been handed over to the local people has been done in better way and could have saved the villages from submerging……..
    FWO has distroyed our future generation and our homeland…,,,shame on you government of Pakistan…can not save peoples from distruction….
    this is government made disaster…not natural disaster

  7. It is good to see the COAS here in Gojal.

    Mr.Wazir Baig’s comment that this was a wrath of Allah and we could not do any thing. Now it is a common understanding among the public in Gilgit Baltistan that the disaster has provided the Govt and the GB administration five month to deal with the disaster but the inept officers of NDMA gave the Govt a false assessment report on the lake and yesterday the NDMA representative was saying on the national media that there is no any big problem and the NDMA is dealing with the problem efficiently and we do not need any ones help..

    That is a total human made disaster and a 100% time this would have been resolved a month back but the Federal Govt has the practice to keep the danger alarming so that the Govt could seek help from the World Community in the name of Hunza so that that the Govt and the military personals could do corruptions in the name of relief work as they did in Azad Kashmir and Khyber Paktonkhaw during the October 08. 2005 earth quick.

    We are going to file a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the NDMA chief, The GB Administration and the Chief Minister GB for their role in making unwise decisions and endangering the public and private property.

  8. It is very simple that neither the FWO, nor he NDMA have the capacity/expertise to deal with disaster of this magnitude. They mislead the GB government and the Federal government who were already short of political will to deal with this disaster. They believe this is a very small landslide which killed less then a dozen people and initially displaced a few hundred people. The national media is still measuring this event on the number of people killed and displaced in Attabad only. It has no idea that a ticking time bomb is behind the debris which is increasing minute by minute causing damage to the upstream population and finally heading south with a potential damage downstream washing everything away from Sarat (Hunza) up to Tarbela.

    The so called technical advisors of the Federal and provincial government (FWO/NDMA) are basically no information as how our neighbor China had successfully drained a larger landslide dam in 2008.

    Again the political will to deal with people in distress is missing wether it is the political, military or bureaucracy. The level of trust between the government and the people is at zero level all because the lies by the then governor, the then NDMA chief, and the present leadership have continued as their predecessors did.

    They probably have heard the indian song “All is well”.


  9. Technically speaking, the equipment deployed is not very effective in handling the situation at hand. Instead of hoes, earth movers and large bulldozers would have done the job more effectively and in much shorter time. Note that the hoe bucket is not large and its traverse is limited to the radius. It is good for digging but not for what it is being used presently. Perhaps the soil is soft but blasting may also have helped.
    Nevertheless, the response was too little too late.

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