French language article about Attabad lake in Trek Magazine

Original in French language
By: Anthony Nicolazzi
Translated with Google Translate

In Pakistan, the famous Karakoram Highway (KKH) is cut since last January 4 near Gulmit, following the collapse of gigantic Attabad, which created an upstream lake 25 miles long. This spring, thanks to melting snow, very abundant in this region dominated by peaks over 7000 meters, the lake had spread inexorably submerging completely turn five villages, including Aienabad. At the dawn of summer, it extended almost up to Passu, upstream, and there were already more than a hundred houses destroyed Shishkat, and 53 in Gulmi, capital of Gojal. Two villages that seem now installed beside a tranquil lake if account were taken of poplars that emerge from the water. The estimated number of people affected to 25 000.

Authorities exceeded

Pakistani authorities seem to have totally underestimated the disaster and the situation quickly became unmanageable as the lake was growing.Emptying outright Lake no longer appeared feasible, and the avowed aim of the authorities to date is limited to reducing the water level of about thirty feet, by expanding the bottleneck at the height of spillway.
Several demonstrations have been conducted by local villagers who threatened to make themselves emptying the lake, with obvious risks for the valley downstream. For now, only one boat service was set up to compensate for the loss of road-one of the highest motorable passes in the world, connecting Pakistan and China, and a tray to carry three vehicles in early September.

No quick solution in sight …

After months of uncertainty, the summer drought has finally brought down the level of a few meters. First sign of hope since January … Having declined to appeal to a Chinese aid (the two countries have always fostered a close collaboration), the authorities are studying a reopening of the road, through atunnel, together with China, which would reduce the recurrent problems related to landslides, pervasive throughout the 600 km from the KKH.

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  1. The documentary is excellent. For the first time I have understood that the govt promised to solve the problem in less than 2 months and lulled the affected populations to inaction, but failed to keep its promise. The human tragedy is very well documented.
    I wish people would find a solution to their problem without the intervention of the government even if they are entitled to that help, because sometimes, like in the USA, government intervention makes the problem worse.
    Isn’t there any private initiative that people could do in collaboration with Chinese technology perhaps? Couldn’t they bring pumps from China to empty the lake? Or do something else now the Pakistani government is overwhelmed with the floods in the rest of the country, they are not likely to interfere much with private initiatives… just wondering.

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