5 August 2010

A further update on the Pakistan floods

Posted by Dave Petley

The media have now cottoned onto the fact that the flood wave is causing destruction downstream from the northwest of Pakistan, an issue that I have been highlighting for some days.  The flood waters are certainly abating now in Taunsa, although note that three days after the peak the discharge is still above the “very high” level:

Meanwhile, at Guddu the water level is still rising, and is now close to the “extremely high” discharge level.  It is expected to peak in the next 24 hours. 

The discharge at Sukkur is now very much on the rise as well as the flood wave starts to approach:

It is frightening to think that this flood has at least five days to run before it discharges into the ocean.  There is a huge amount of damage yet to occur.

Meanwhile the Pamir Times has published a further set of images of the Karakoram Highway, amongst suggestions that it will take six weeks to reopen it.  The latest images are well worth a look – the damage is very serious indeed:

As I noted during my drive up this road in February, a huge amount of investment has been made in the last couple of years in this road, with lots of work on new, inadequate, culverts.  It is tragic that so much of this investment will have been wasted.  Meanwhile, the hardship suffered by those upstream of the Attabad barrier will have been amplified by the lack of communication along the remainder of the road.  One genuinely has to fear for the welfare of those living in Hunza now.

Unfortunately, there is now no data about the state of play at Attabad itself.  The continued threat posed by the dam could be forgotten amongst the flood tragedy.  This must not be allowed to happen.