Villagers blast govt’s response to Hunza flood

ALTIT: Hundreds of villagers shouting anti-government slogans on Friday denounced the authorities’ failure to offer compensation to residents displaced by a lake created after a landslide.

Officials evacuated thousands of people this week amid fears the lake, formed after a landslide blocked the Hunza River on Jan. 4, could burst and affect about 50,000 people downstream and sever a road serving as an important trade link with China.

Twenty people were killed in the landslide and subsequent flooding of several villages upstream displaced about 6,000 people and left another 25,000 stranded, according to officials and residents.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani visited Altit village on Friday, where about 1,300 displaced people had been housed, some 15 km (9 miles) east of the new lake.

But soon after Gilani left, some in the 400-strong crowd began shouting anti-government slogans, demanding immediate relief, witnesses said.

“The protesters were annoyed that the prime minister did not announce any relief package for them,” Raza Hamadani told Reuters by telephone.

The protesters dispersed after officials, who accompanied Gilani, assured them the government would announce compensation and help them resettle.

Officials hope for a gradual erosion of the blockage once the water starts flowing sometime next week through a spillway created to drain the lake. But they have not ruled out a sudden breach that could lead to massive flooding.

A sudden flood would inundate 39 villages in the regions of Hunza and Gilgit, affecting about 13,000 people. Residents put the number at about 25,000 with a similar number affected further downstream.

The lake has also submerged a 22-km (15-mile) stretch of the Karakoram Highway, hampering trade between Pakistan and China. — Reuters

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  1. “A sudden flood would inundate 39 villages in the regions of Hunza and Gilgit, affecting about 13,000 people. Residents put the number at about 25,000 with a similar number affected further downstream.”

    This Reuters news is absolutely unacceptable. they’re telling only half of the story, no, a small quarter of the whole story, and in such way that it is impossible for international media (so the whole international community) to realize the extent of the threat, and thus making it an almost negligible news in their view. This is total incompetence, or pure brainwashing.

  2. we are consider to be the most peaceful people …women taking their children come on the road and raised slogans against Government.. shouting, screaming and went to die in lake or dam whatever ..what is this ? are we hungry dieing of appetite, though temporary but still we have shelter, did we spent a single night under bear sky?the answer is NO,,we have all essential necessities to live in content….. when it comes to education and schools .. all the schools of hunza and gilgit are closed for two months ..and schools assure us that they will take and give us extra time and complete our courses at right time not at eleventh hour…we do not have any problems concerning to health because doctors are there … all the temporary facilities are provided to us.why are we shouting ? we need a permanent home and the regular routine.?the dam is still catching fire day by day.. it didn’t burst yet..and we want homes..don’t know how many other people will lose their homes…thousand of people .. then why are we becoming selfish.we attabad wants homes…let the other people die but we want homes…please don’t do this is a natural disaster ,, a time to be patient ..a time of cooperation..let this hard time flee away..we will get homes.our permanent homes .. …don’t create panic for those who are helping us…did you think what if none came for aiding us..letting us die hand to weep our tears…no support ….its horrible even to feel it for a second…then why this ridicules attitude ? we should be thankful to everyone and pray with pure heart for everyone that this hard time wont affect another..i feel and i am sure many people will agree with me Government, focus, red crescent,fwo,many others are standings for us day and night….they are doing their jobs honesty please let them do and cooperate with them. pray that may Allah bestowed his blessing upon us …and save from any other disaster….we will get permanent homes when once this situation is settle down. so we should be clam down and be patient. Allah will always do good for us INSHAHALLAh

  3. we all should keep ourselves calm and pray that Almight Allah help us and solve our problem. it is a natural disaster and we should work together and join hands to help ourselves. problems come and go. but wat is left behind is our experience. one should think y this happened? each and everyone out there knows it. wat is the gov doing for us and how are we being ignored are questions tat should be known. itz our own mistake that we elected such politicians who couldn’t do anything for us in the times of need. itz easy for me to say that keep calm but we should not forget tat hard times measure our strength and our faith in Allah. instead of appealing such an ignorant gov we should pray to Almight Allah with all our faith, then see how this hard time goes and create opportunities for us from such a threat. we should help ourselves and Inshallah things will get better. we are peaceful and hard working people and this is the time we show our abilities and confront these hard times.
    Inshallah we will rise again.

  4. I believe how they lived for more than five months is simply a manifestation of patience, but it’s not any solution for their families and their the social life/education of their children and their subsequent upbringing, they need permanent homes where they can at least start their lives from the scratch with dignity and what they demanded is their real right, but unfortunately our PM Gilani was on a picnic programme as well as for a media click. If we do,t exert pressure on govt. they will not bother it and we will lose it. We need to exert pressure collectively for the affectees. Indeed, FOCUS, RED CRESENT and other agencies are doing great, but the real thing what we need from Govt. is acquisition of a permanent land or allocation of equivalent cost to afftees and we all need to put pressure for it.

  5. I just hope that before criticizing the IDPs, we put ourselves in their places for a moment and think of the real situations that they have gone through. These are the people who are traumatized by the natural disaster, who have seen their houses being destroyed in front of their eyes, and who have lost their loved ones.

    Their misfortune does not end here. These are the people who are being forced to live in a situation which is quite contrary to human nature. They have spent four and a half months of their lives with the promises made by their government, which were unfortunately never fulfilled. But these people never lost hope and were confident that their government will take care of them. The question that rises here is that “why are the calm and peaceful people, who spent so many days of their lives in the IDP camps, so outraged that they could not control their emotions after meeting their Prime Minister? The answer simply is that “their Prime Minister failed them by saying that their losses will surveyed and then they will be compensated.” I am sure that none of us expected to hear this statement from the prime minster after such a long period of the disaster.

    Therefore, I think that their reaction was very human, very natural, and very genuine.

    got the money from government
    money from HBL
    jamat is raising money for you
    donors and International agencies
    still greedy still hungry you rascals bringing yr daughters on roads begging and begging and begging even those whse houses are safe are in camps begging….wat apity u hungry beasts ..SWAt went thru worst but never anybody saw a daghter or a sister in media you beggars brought a shame at us ..,when will you all be full…..

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