Artificial lake poses threat to locals in Hunza
GILGIT: Authorities in Gilgit-Baltistan have started training locals to avert a looming disaster in Hunza valley as Shisper Glacier surge and subsequent creation of an artificial lake has posed serious threats to the communities living downstream.
The glacier fell apart and blocked the upstream canal of the Hasanabad Valley in Hunza, thus forming the artificial lake like the one formed in Attabad Valley in 2010.
An assessment report prepared by the Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (G-BDMA) warned that the lake might burst any time and cause damage to the local people, and infrastructure situated downstream.
According to sources, the possible lake burst can submerge a portion of Karakoram Highway, a bridge, houses, as well as large tracts of fertile land.
Around 50 homes are located where the artificial lake has been formed.
“Mock exercises are being carried out with the locals to train them to face any emergency situation,” Commissioner Gilgit Kamal Khan told The Express Tribune on Thursday.
Khan, who visited the site along with force commander and region’s chief secretary, said safe routes for evacuation of communities have been identified such that they could escape the area safely in case of an emergency.
The G-BDMA, AKAH and Al-Khidmat Foundation, meanwhile, have topped up their stocks of food and other useful items.
G-BDMA Director General Farid Ahmad said the protective work to safeguard public and private properties is under way, and an amount of more than Rs30 million had already been released to departments concerned in this regard.
On the directives of chief secretary, he added, officials in the disaster management authority have been asked to list the houses and means of livelihood at stake.
Addressing the community at Hassanabad, the chief secretary unveiled a contingency plan under which 40,000 wheat bags, besides medicines have also been arranged to meet a disaster.