Explosives not to be used to widen the spillway

Published: June 9, 2010

Soldiers and volunteers load tents for displaced people who were affected by the Hunza lake. PHOTO:AFP

GILGIT: The outflow from the Attabad landslide lake has increased by 300 cusecs per day as authorities have once again ruled out the possibility of using explosives to widen the spillway.

“The option of using explosive is not under consideration,” Hunza’s administrator, Zamir Abbas told The Express Tribune. He said that the outflow of water from the lake might be slightly greater than the inflow. “The outflow may be slightly over 5000 cusecs per day,” he said. Officials earlier dismissed the option of broadening the spillway using explosives saying that the rocks of the valley are loose and such an act could trigger more landslides in the area.

The spillway is said to be about 37-feet wide and 12-feet deep. Officials say the amount of water spilling out of the 370-feet deep lake is not as much as expected by experts. However a 3-inch drop in the water-level of the lake has been recorded during the last two days.

Experts had anticipated that a flood would drain the lake within 48 hours of the beginning of the outflow of water from the lake into the spillway. However it did not happen and now the lake has now turned out to be a ticking bomb, threatening more than 20,000 people, officials said.

The Express Tribune was told that areas that are upstream of the lake, such as Shimshal, Sust, Chupurson and Misghar, have remained safe from the water although the residents have suffered due to non-economic activity and non-availability of items of daily sustenance.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 9th, 2010.

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