Lake rises by 2 feet; misery-hit people alarmed

GILGIT-BALTISTAN: The schedule of intermediate examinations still stand unchanged despite the imminent danger of massive flood in Gilgit, Hunza and Gojal; all the examinations will take place as per schedule.

The water level at the accident-accelerated Lake rose by two more feet; but, no extraordinary outpouring from the spillway was witnessed.

Spurred by the no-change water situation at the spillway, the miseries of the Gojal people are on the rise, as all the estimations and guesswork hitherto made by the experts regarding the outflow, seems to have proved wrong.

Meantime, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed said the Spillway was constructed on the estimates; however, seeing the overall situation, nothing could be said as the last word, as all upcoming circumstances are altogether hinged on the weather conditions.

Nadeem continued that all the steps taken up thus far would be of no use, if the weather did not make a turn to be conducive.

Yesterday night, the people in Shashkat were hugely panicked owing to the heavy landsliding. Also, the people in Gilgit are highly concerned ever since they heard the reports about the overflow from the Spillway.

However, according to the NDMA chief, the flood wave will be only 15-meter high when it will head for the Gilgit.

The Gilgit management is all geared up with the complete arrangements to tackle any emergency situatio

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Water flow continues from spillway

HUNZA: The water started flowing out from spillway of Attabad Lake with gradually increasing pressure, whereas dam burst could take 30 to 35 hours.

Ahmedabad village would be the first to get affected by the flood. Then the water would enter into villages of Gunesh and Shumair.

Later, Diamer and Kohistan areas of Gilgit would face the wrath of water before it flew into Tarbela Dam.

Chairman NDMA General Nadeem Ahmad told Geo News that spillway was built in the first phase and in the second phase; water has been started spilling through spillway.

He said initial spill of water will not be more than 300 cusecs, adding the rescue workers are ready to confront any situation.

Chairman NDMA said helicopters will roam in the area to keep an eye on the situation and prevent human losses. Evacuation has been completed from the area and announcements have been made from the mosques to stay at safer places.

In case of lake burst and flooding, Hunza will be the first to be affected followed by Nagar. Flooding could also damage parts of Karakoram Highway.


Hunza lake spillway to begin by midnight

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo Friday said that water outflow through spillway will begin at Hunza Lake by midnight.

Speaking in Islambad, the Minister appealed to the residents of low lying areas to shift to the camps.

He said wheat has been stored in Gojal for 25000 IDPs for two months.

Gap between Ataabad lake water, spillway narrows

HUNZA: Ataabad lake water level is only 2 feet below from the spillway, authorities say.

If is being expected that water outflow from the landslide hit lake can spill out anytime.

On the other hand, water level continues to rise in the lake due to incessant rains recorded in Ataabad and its adjoining areas.

The deputy commissioners of Hunzanagar and Diamer closed the Shahra-e-Karokoram in the wake of red alert.

Due to unpleasant weather condition, chopper service also remained suspended during the day.

According to NDMA officials, the rescue operation could be resumed if weather situation improved.

Next 24 hours crucial as distance between lake, spillway lessen

GILGIT BALTISTAN: The local administration has declared next 24 hours crucial as the distance between lake level and spillway reducing swiftly, Geo News reported Friday.

Local administration said water level in Attabad Lake increasing sharply due to rain and coming 24 hours are crucial. Sporadic rain could halt helicopter service for the affectees, which multiplies the sufferings of the affectees.

Also, Karakoram Highway till Gilgit has been closed for indefinite period because of possible water spill from the lake. The closure disconnected land link between Hunza and Gilgit.

Ataabad lake water likely to enter spillway tonight

HUNZA: The distance between Ataabad lake water and spillway is down to less than four feet, Geo has reported from Hunza.

Amid possibility of water outflow, Hunza authorities have closed Gilgit-Hunza section of Karkoram Highway for traffic.

In addition, an IDP camp, which comprises of 400 tents, has being shifted to Special Education Complex after being declared dangerous.

Hunza Nagar Deputy Commissioner Zafar Waqar Taj said that people have been advised to stay at high areas away from the river.

Although a number of helicopters are already taking part in the rescue operation. However, in the wake of possible outflow of water, more helicopters will be used.

The Hunza DC said that next 36 hours are very important in this regard.

He hoped that the arrangements being made during the last four months to prevent human losses would bear fruits.

Taj further said the current level in Ataabad Lake is 360 feet and its level is increasing by one inch after every hour.

Attabad: the freeboard is now reportedly about 1,3 metres( by Dr. David Petley)

The latest NDMA figures suggest that the freeboard is down to about 4.3 feet (1.31 metres) as of 3 pm today.  That is a reduction of about 70 cm on the day, meaning that we are probably less than two days from the point of overtopping:

I am reasonably confident of these values as the Focus geologists took this picture yesterday of the spillway:

The circled boulder is the crest of the spillway, so water flow will start when this point is reached.  Of course the one potential problem is a slope failure on the spillway walls, which could block the channel.  This is a real possibility, but we won’t know until tomorrow.

Close up the channel at this point looks like this:

Unfortunately the large boulder will resist lateral cutting, initially at least, which is likely to increase the rate of down-cutting.  This is unfortunate.  Once the water reaches the top it will initially flow down this channel, crossing the summit of the dam:

And then will flow down here:

The disturbance here is from collapse of the banks induced by the seepage.  Finally, it will flow down the main river channel:

The terrace in the centre left of the image is at 60 metres above the river level.  Previous (comparatively recent) floods have not reached this level, which is half the height of the dam.  This is the level that we believe is comparatively safe from the flood.

Posted by Dr Dave at 

Attabad landslide – by Dr. David Petley

Source Dave’s landslide blog:

The water level at Attabad is now within ten metres of the base of the spillway at the saddle, and continues to rise at about 90 to 100 cm per day. Thus, water flow through the spillway is now about ten days away, or possibly less.

So what will happen when water flow starts? Regular readers will know that I have been continually pressing the authorities to assume that a large flood will occur, even if this was an outside possibility. My recommendations were, and still are, to evacuate everyone downstream of the dam located within 60 metres of the river level. Past experience suggests that the flood could be large all the way to Tarbela – i.e. that standard attenuation models don’t apply here.

Throughout this crisis I have maintained that a catastrophic flood was possible but not probable. This was very much based upon the plans for the spillway, which we were assured would be 30 metres deep, up to 40 m wide, and with a low longitudinal gradient. We were even assured that the base would be armoured to prevent erosion.

The reality is rather different. A couple of days ago the Pamir Times published this image of the spillway (the annotation is from them – I would like to formally thank them for highlighting the monitoring site I run):

Those building the spillway have admitted that it is just 5 metres wide and 14 metres deep. None of us should be under any illusions – this is unlikely to be large enough to cope with the flows that the river experiences in the summer floods. Furthermore, even though the flow from seepage that has developed below the spillway over the last few days is a fraction of the current inflow (seepage = 510 litres per second; inflow = 77,750 litres per second), the water flowing from the seepage point has been able to erode the dam materials. This does not bode well in terms of the landslide dam resisting erosion.

The increase in seepage rate remains a source of concern too, both in terms of the potential for an earlier water release and the likelihood of internal weakening of the dam structure.

All of this means that a flood is now likely, hopefully of just a moderate size, but possibly larger. Once again I urge, as I have throughout this crisis, that the authorities assume that the flood will be large and thus ensure that everyone within 50 metres of the river between Attabad and Tarbela is protected.

Finally, I just cannot understand why the authorities are not getting expert advice to help them to deal with this. Help is being offered – why are they not accepting it?