11 March 2010

The landslide at Attabad has developed seepage

Posted by Dave Petley

Late last week the landslide at Attabad started to develop some seepage. Over the last few days this has gradually increased in rate and is now measured at about 9.4 cubic feet per second (0.25 cubic metres per second). The Pamir Times has some images of the seepage:

Given this volume of water it is likely that this is flow through the dam, although at the moment this remains unconfirmed. If so, this is a source of real concern as landslide dams sometimes fail through piping. Fortunately, both Focus and NDMA are monitoring this, but there is now a real urgency about getting an evacuation plan in place. This situation could now develop much more rapidly than we had anticipated a week ago.