Water level in Hunza lake creeping up

A landslide at Attabad photographed a couple of days ago by FOCUS' geologist

By Zulfiqar Ali Khan

HUNZA: Water level in the 25km lake formed by a landslide in Hunza River early this year is increasing again, creating fear of flooding among the people of Gojal tehsil.

High temperatures in recent days have accelerated glacier melting thus increasing inflow in the lake, sources say.

The swelling of lake has been attributed to the inadequacy of the spillway as a less amount of water (5,200 cusec) is flowing through it against the inflow (5,400 cusec).

The sources told this correspondent that water level in Gulmit and Shishkat rose by eight inches on Saturday evening, adding that water had entered rooms of a prominent hotel in Gulmit.

Experts have warned of further damage in residential and commercial areas upstream if the spillway, built at a cost of Rs80 million, is not widened immediately.

Local people said the government should carry out controlled blasting or use mechanical methods to widen the spillway. They pointed out that 200 houses, 135 shops and six hotels had already been submerged by water in Ayeenabad, Shishkat, Gulmit, Ghulkin and Hussainin.

Mohammad Arman, a resident of Gulmit, said the authorities should act proactively to deal with the situation.

“We don’t want a few bags of flour,” said university student Khatija Parveen, adding that local economy had collapsed and the government should extend support to rehabilitate it.

Mohammad Ali, a resident of Shishkat, said 80 per cent of the village had been submerged by water and the remaining areas faced the same threat.

Darvesh Ali of Ayeenabad said there was a lack of public transport in the area and called upon the government to move families to camps in Aliabad. He said helicopter service was not enough and called for restarting the boat service.

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One Comment

  1. Zulifiqar, we appriciate your sustained reporting on the disaster and thanks to Farmal Ali for creating space in Dawan on this vital issue. We record our anger and protect for the mismanagement of disaster which has a high cost.

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