Seismic movement in Hunza: Landslides affect 15 families, damage infrastructure

Sporadic landslides in two villages have damaged a water channel, link road, 12 electric polls and various fruit trees


Our Correspondent October 09, 2012

GILGIT:


At least 15 families have abandoned their houses due to landslides triggered by tremors in two villages of Hunza-Nagar District.


The landslides damaged a main water channel and other public and private property in Mayoon and Hussainabad villages.

“At least 15 families have moved in with their relatives in view of the looming threat,” Shahzad Hussain, a resident of the area told The Express Tribune on Monday. He said that the landslides started two weeks ago.

So far a main water channel, a link road and 12 electricity polls have been damaged. The landslides have also destroyed wild fruit trees.

“There is no light or no water in the area,” Hussain said, adding that the remaining villagers are also considering moving due to the  tremors. Complaints to officials over the disrupted water and electricity supply yielded no result.

Another resident said fissures have already appeared in the ground in some parts. He said the villagers who had moved away did so on the advice of experts sent by a non-governmental organisation.

Another villager said, “We hope the government will act swiftly to minimise our losses.”

Others were not as hopeful, saying that past landslides have devastated several houses, orchards and standing crops in Shinaki area, but the government did not do anything for the people.

Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority Director Burhan Afandi said that the government is planning to conduct a survey in the area to find the cause behind landslides and tremors.

“Thirteen families have been relocated as a precautionary measure and we will be conducting a survey to find out the causes,” he said.

In 2010, the government had shifted 55 families from Hussainabad village to safer places due to landslides, but later the villages returned as the situation turned back to normal. According to the then Hunza deputy commissioner, fissures had developed on some parts of the surface, causing landslide in the region, which is on a fault line.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2012.

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