6 July 2010

Attabad – no substantial changes in the lake level reported by NDMA

Posted by Dave Petley

Thanks to various commenters on the Attabad threads for their incredibly helpful and interesting contributions – this is something that I really value – and also for seeking out the latest information on the situation now that my usual feed has dried up.  NDMA posted a report dated 5th July (but helpfully they got the file name wrong  – thanks to Divalent for tracking down the right one here) that provides a latest update on the lake level.  The graph looks like this (the y-axis is lake level above the spillway base at the time of overtopping, measured in inches):

This seems to suggest that the lake level has now stabilised again.  The temporary drop noted on about 2nd July may be an error.  The report itself suggests that the lake level had increased by 2 inches (5 cm) in the period since 6 pm the day before, although changes of this magnitude may be no more than the effect of the wind.  Thus, it appears that the situation is one of (temporary) equilibrium again.

Meanwhile a new video of the spillway, apparently dated 6th July (i.e. today), has appeared:

This appears to show a steep cascade of water that is apparently clean, suggesting that the bed of the flow is formed of large boulders, although this is mere speculation of course. The lake level shows little change from earlier videos, confirming the NDMA figures.

Finally, we must not forget the continued huge toll that this crisis is inflicting on both upstream and downstream communities. The Pamir Times has a good gallery of Gulmit, near to the head of the lake here.  It is worth  a look: