ISLAMABAD: Today is the second anniversary of the landslide that took place on the Hunza River which formed a lake near Attabad. Now the lake is almost 25 kilometres long and as much as 100 metres deep. The landsliding and the flooding that was later caused affected the lives of thousands of local people. A total of 242 houses, 135 shops, four hotels, two schools, four factories and several hundred acres of agricultural land were lost. Over 19 kilometres of the Karakoram Highway were also inundated and remain flooded. This has meant that people further upstream on the river now have to use ferries to travel across the lake. In the winter this has problems of its own. One of these is that the supply of fuel for the boats is erratic and this means that crossing the lake depends on its availability.
On the second anniversary of this incident, I would like to request readers of your newspaper to spare a thought for all those affected by the formation of this lake. Also, the government needs to do something about those who were displaced and lost their entire homes and livelihoods.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2012.