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4 years ago

Attabad Lake Hunza Valley

Attabad Lake (Urdu: عطا آباد جھیل‎), also known as Gojal Lake[3], is a lake in the Gojal Valley of northern Pakistan that was created in January 2010 by a landslide dam. Since the lake was formed the only means of crossing was by loading vehicles onto wooden boats. This changed when a road tunnel was built and it opened for traffic in September 2015. The lake was formed due to a massive landslide at Attabad village in Gojal Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, 9 miles (14 km) upstream (east) of Karimabad that occurred on 4 January 2010. The landslide killed twenty people and blocked the flow of the Hunza River for five months. The lake flooding has displaced 6,000 people from upstream villages, stranded (from land transportation routes) a further 25,000,[5] and inundated over 12 miles (19 km) of the Karakoram Highway. The lake reached 13 miles (21 km) long and over 100 metres (330 ft) in depth by the first week of June 2010 when it began flowing over the landslide dam, completely submerging lower Shishkat and partly flooding Gulmit. The subdivision of Gojal has the greatest number of flooded buildings, over 170 houses, and 120 shops. The residents also had shortages of food and other items due to the blockage of the Karakoram Highway. By 4 June water outflow from the lake had increased to 3,700 cu ft/s (100 m3/s).Water levels continued to rise in 18 June 2010 caused by a difference in the outflow and inflow of the new lake. As bad weather continued, the supply of food, medicine and other goods was stopped as all forms of transportation including helicopter service to Hunza could not resume. Victims of the landslide and expansion of the lake staged a sit-in protesting the lack of government action and compensation payments to them. As a result of the damming of Hunza River, five villages north of the barrier were flooded. One village, Ayeenabad, was completely submerged. Major portions of another village, Shishkat, was also submerged. Around 40% of the village of Gulmit, which also serves as the headquarters of Gojal Valley, was also submerged. Significant portions of land in Hussain and Ghulkin villages of Gojal also got submerged as a result of the surging lake. The entire population of Hunza and Gojal valley, up to 25000 individuals, were affected as a result of the lake, due to difficulties of road access and reaching business markets and loss of land, houses, and agricultural products.

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