21 July 2010
The Associated Press Pakistan has a report of a somewhat important development in the Attabad landslide dam story this evening. The report is of a high level meeting, chaired by the President of Pakistan, which has decided to lower the level of the lake to 30 metres (it is currently 111 metres, implying a drop of about 80 metres from the current level. This will be achieved through controlled blasting. Meanwhile a proper ferry service will be set up on the lake (at last). Finally, “it was also decided to undertake feasibility study for building by-pass as a permanent solution to the problem of landslides in the future.”
Interestingly, this decision follows a visit to China by the President. The Karakoram Highway is of great strategic importance to China. It is good to see that China has offered technical assistance, given that they have the greatest experience in operations of this type.
No timetable has been provided for the works.
Meanwhile, the latest NDMA reports suggest that the lake level has fallen by about 40 cm in the last 48 hours, possibly reflecting lower inflow rates. This means that the lake level and spillway discharge graphs are now as follows: