20 May 2010

New images of the Attabad dam and Spillway

Posted by Dave Petley

The Pamir Times is now back in action after the owners were trapped on the road by the landslides caused by the recent heavy rain.  Tonight they have posted a selection of images of the site taken yesterday or today – go and take a look, they are good.  I will reproduce two here as they help to understand the current situation.

First, this picture shows the spillway from the lake side:

Two things to note here.  First, the freeboard appears to be in the order of 3 m, suggesting that the NDMA figures are about right.  Second, it looks to me like the far side of the spillway failed in the heavy rainfall earlier this week, which appears to have dumped a lot of loose material in the spillway, and it has narrowed it considerably.  I may be wrong about this, but that is how it looks to me.  Needless to say this is not a good sign.

The second image shows the area downstream of the main landslide mass:

The water that is flowing here is the seepage – there is clearly a considerable amount.  Note just how deeply the channels have incised, which shows just how erosive the materials in this mudflow deposit actually are.  Again, this is not a good sign.

The lake is now 18 km long.