18 April 2010

Worrying signs on the landslide at Attabad in Hunza

Posted by Dave Petley

The water level at the landslide dam at Attabad in Pakistan continues to rise (see the data on my Hunza landslide monitoring site), with the reported freeboard being less than 30 metres.  However, I have to report a very much more worrying development.  Dr Michele Comi and Dr Chiara Calligaris from Ev-K2-CNR are just returning from a visit to the site, and have sent me the picture below (reproduced with permission):

This sinkhole has apparently opened up on the upstream side of the dam.  The most likely cause of a sinkhole is that erosion is occurring in the core of the dam, although this could be localised.  However, given that seepage is now accelerating again, the signs are worrying.