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4 January 2011

Attabad – one year on

Today marks the first anniversary of the A|ttabad landslide in Pakistan. This post reviews both the current situation and the ways in which the anniversary is being marked.


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18 December 2010

The cost of reconstruction after the Attabad landslide

Whilst it has dropped from the news during the winter period, the Attabad landslide crisis in Pakistan rumbles on, with dire consequences for the population on the north side of the barrier.  In the next few days the high passes into China will close again, rendering the population of Gojal isolated once again.  The Pamir Times featured an article a few days ago highlighting how tough conditions are once again: …


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17 October 2010

Updated: Attabad – NDMA make a full set of reports available online, plus an article in the Economist

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in Pakistan have now made four reports about Attabad available online here.  These are as follows (with the correct links to each): The dam break study undertaken by NESPAK. A report by Alessandro Palmeiri, from the World Bank My report on the landslide. A report by the Geological Survey of Pakistan dating from before the landslide event about the hazards at the site. Interestingly, …


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17 August 2010

New pictures of Attabad

Many thanks to David Butz, who is a Professor of Human Geography at Brock University in Canada, for sending to me a set of photographs of the situation at Attabad.  David was there about eleven days ago, when the boat service was still running (it has now ceased due to a lack of fuel).  David has kindly allowed me to post some pictures here – note however that he retains ownership …


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27 July 2010

Attabad lake level is rising again. It is clear that temperature is the key control at present.

The lake level at Attabad is rising again – the latest NDMA report suggests that the level has increased by 19 inches (41 cm) in the last 24 hours: It is now clear that the lake level is controlled primarily by local environmental conditions (which in turn are changing the inflow), rather than the spillway properties.  Compare the following two graphs.  The first is the lake level through July to …


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26 July 2010

Attabad lake level stabilises again

The latest report from the NDMA suggests that the lake level at Attabad has stabilised once again, matching the stabilisation of flow in the Indus catchment: There is no news as yet as to when blasting to drain the lake will start.


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24 July 2010

Large drop in the lake level at Attabad

The latest NDMA update (released yesterday) reports a further very substantial drop in the level of the lake.  The report is that the level of the lake fell by 28 inches (71 cm) in the 24 hour period to 9 am (local time) on 23rd July.  This means that the lake level graph looks like this: The cause of this reduction appears to be a dramatic decrease in inflow, caused …


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22 July 2010

Strange goings on at Attabad

The NDMA daily report for today (22nd July) reports a dramatic decrease in lake level – 19 inches (48 cm) in the last 24 hours.  This is by far the largest fall recorded to date, producing a lake level the looks like this: This is quite surprising.  Assuming that the surface area of the lake is 1202 hectares (in fact it is probably a little larger in reality), this implies …


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21 July 2010

The Government has reportedly decided to use blasting to lower the lake at Attabad by 80 metres

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.  …


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19 July 2010

Latest Attabad lake level information

I have now extracted the lake level data from the latest NDMA daily report.  The latest graph on lake level above the spillway floor at the time of overtopping is as follows: I haven’t updated the long term lake level graph for a long time, so here it is: Finally, the flow through the spillway is also now increasing, even though the lake level is going up: This increased lake …


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