20 June 2010

Attabad – a decision has been taken to blast

Posted by Dave Petley

It appears that a decision has now been taken to attempt to blast the key boulders controlling the flow at Attabad, with suggestions now being made that blasts will begin tomorrow (Monday).  This is a brave decision by NDMA – and I wish them luck.  The context appears to be a combination of the continued exasperation of the local people about the lack or resolution of the situation, and the ongoing slow evolution of the spillway.  However, it should also be noted that there has been some change in the spillway over the last couple of days, as this Focus image (taken today) shows:

The Pamir Times published an alternative view taken on 18th June from the other side of the river, showing at the key boulder:

It is clear that the water has started to erode around the restriction.  By today the water had created a channel around the back of the block (image from Focus):

The importance of this boulder in controlling the flow remains very high, as this Focus overview image shows clearly:

Meanwhile, the level of landslide activity immediately upstream remains high (Focus image):