Authorities heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday when the Attabad ‘landslide’ lake became stable, with outflow of water equalling inflow.
“The outflow recorded at Ganish was 6,333 cusecs while the amount of water flowing into the lake was also the same,” Zafar Waqar Taj, the district coordination officer (DCO) of Hunza told The Express Tribune.
He said the water level indicated that inflow and outflow of the lake had equalised, adding that there were no signs of an overflow.
Sources in Hunza said that the helicopter ferry service has been suspended because of bad weather, forcing people to protest and call for early repatriation to their homes. They have been stranded in shelter camps in Hunza since January.
“Some people have even demanded resumption of the boat service in the 23-kilomtre-long lake that has severed the land link between upper and lower parts of Hunza,” said Karim, a resident of Hunza.
The boat service was suspended after water started flowing out of the lake through the spillway more than two weeks ago. Cognizant of the difficulties faced by local residents, the government says they have resumed the boat service to villages upstream.
Meanwhile, the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of the PML-N has said the Punjab government had sent a huge quantity of medicines for the lake victims.
Hafeezur Rehman, local chief of the party, said that 5,000 patients had been treated in different relief camps set up by his party in Hunza and Gilgit.
In Islamabad, an agreement was signed between the German embassy and the Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan for humanitarian aid to the victims of the Attabad lake disaster.
Germany is providing relief aid worth Rs4.2 million for the displaced families. The measures will be implemented by FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, an affiliate of the AKDN. (Additional input from Agencies)
Published in the Express Tribune, June 16th, 2010.