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.
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.