Continued landsliding at Attabad

PT Report

Gilgit, July 9: At least 13 single-day incidents of boulder falls and landslides near spillway of the Hunza Lake raised fears of blockage of the spillway today. Water level kept rising and falling in the upstream valley as the landslide triggered waves in the lake.

11 inches increase in level of the lake water was reported by astonished and afraid local people.

“Huge clouds of dust have covered the entire region”, a local man told Pamir Times on phone. “The water level keeps rising and falling and we just can not understand what is happening”, he said.

In the meanwhile hundreds of Attabad and Sarat IDPs continued a protest demonstration near the lake barrier, waiting for chief minister of Gilgit – Baltistan to arrive at the spot and address their demands. The chief minister, however, did not visit the area even on third day of the risky demonstration.

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  1. With siphons the water could be safely removed from the lake 24/7 and I am certain this would have a noticeable effect on the water level even in the short term. Moreover it would provide water for the downstream communities which must be parched in the absence of the usual water flow. At the very least it would decrease the threat to the downstream villages because the bigger the lake gets the more threatening it is. Siphoning would also have a positive psychological effect because ppl would know it is on-going night and day without human intervention.
    Once the water level has come down it would be possible to deepen and widen the spillway, which is not otherwise possible.
    Villagers are willing to contribute effort for the restoration of their communities. Why should they be left out when they are dying to participate? It is a big political error to forbid them from doing anything, saying only the pros are allowed to work, and then the pros have short working hours, long week ends and only 1/4th the machinery that is required.

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