from Pakistan Red Crescent Society
Published on 15 Feb 2010 View Original

A massive landslide hit Hunza District on 4th January 2010, followed by boulders and rocks, sliding two villages including Atta Abad into the Hunza River. The first landslide swept into the valley at 1.30 pm on Monday and a couple of hours later a second slide came down with high intensity completely wiping-out anything in its path. The incident occurred at Atta Abad, a picturesque valley in the country's Gilgit-Baltistan region, 720 km north of the capital, Islamabad, about thirty kilometers from Aliabad, the main town of Hunza valley. It is located at a distance of 55 kilometers from the Karakorum Highway (KKH), above Sarat village on a steep slope in Central Hunza. Atta Abad is known for landslides and many of its over 100 houses developed cracks after a similar earth-slip nearly three years ago. For detailed geographical information, please refer to Annex-A.

Karakorum Highway (KKH) Blockage

The District Administration has closed a portion of Shahra-e-Karakorum between Hunza and Swat for all types of traffic and declared emergency in Hunza. Chinese engineers have started removing the 263 feet high debris and boulders spread over about 4km stretch of the KKH. They are trying to bring in heavy machinery through China border so as to accelerate the debris removal process.

Hunza River Blockage

The debris of the houses also fell down into the Hunza River, blocking its water flow. This sliding debris has completely obstructed the water stream. On 6th January Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Gilgit-Baltistan branch reported that the Hunza River is still blocked and its level had risen to 350 feet and still rising.

On 11th January it was reported on that the lake formed due to the blockade of Hunza River has started covering the Ayinabad settlement in Upper Hunza. Experts reported that the water will cover about nine houses within two or three days. According to Sher Wali, Geologist of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, the blockade on river is 394 feet high from the river bed and the water level is increasing 0.4 feet per hour. He said the debris is 2,407 feet from sea level. The situation confirms the fears that low-lying areas across the river would be inundated.

Potential Disaster Forecast:

Two villages (Shiskat and Ainabad), towards China Border, of about 238 HH and 2032 population would come under water. Evacuation of the population from lower side to upper side of the hill has almost been completed. The details are as under:

a. Shiskat Centre 124 HH, Pouplation 1079 (550 male, 529 female)

b. Shiskat Bela 51 HH, Population 428 (220 male, 208 female)

c. Shiskat Payeen 33 HH, Population 234 (128 male, 106 female)

d. Ainabad 30 HH, Population 291 (149 male, 142 female)

As per source of WAPDA and Geological Department, the chances of outburst of DAM are minimized. Clearance of Landslide from Hunza up to Sust Border will take around 2 months; however, mule track will be made within 4 days.

The affected families have been shifted to the Govt/Army camps established in schools and colleges in Karimabad, Hunza. A total of 1,652 individuals had been shifted till 12th January. According to the latest reports 198 families were present in the 4x camps in Altit out of which the 50 families belonging Salmanabad have moved back to their homes as immediate dam outburst has been negated by the competent authorities. So presently there are 148 families in the Altit camps.