20 PEOPLE DEAD, HUNZA RIVER COMPLETELY BLOCKED
Hunza, January 4: A massive landslide has destroyed most of the endangered Attabad village of Hunza valley.
Contrary to the reports initially received by Pamir Times it is with heavy heart that we post the sad information about death of at least twenty people, as a result of the massive landslide that hit Attabad village earlier today. Most of the dead are women and children, a reporter told Pamir Times. The death toll is likely to increase, it is being feared.
Talking to a private TV channel, DG of the NDMA Gilgit – Baltiastan, Usman Younis, has said that nothing can be said with certainty at this stage. He has said that there are reports about death of six people.
Many people were injured as a result of the disaster and they have been shifted to hospitals in the nearby towns of Aliabad and Karimabad. Over two dozen houses are buried under debris of the mountain.
Volunteers are finding it very difficult to search and rescue the people that might be trapped beneath the debris, due to lack of equipments, as well as due to the lack of light, as night fell in the valley.
The landslide has completely stopped the flow of Hunza River and a dam is quickly forming towards the Gojal valley. More than two kilometers of the Karakuram Highway is completely destroyed, Zulfiqar Ali Khan told Pamir Times.
A Jamat Khan (worship – cum – community center), a school, dozens of residential houses, cattle sheds, fields, trees and orchards have been leveled by the landslide, causing irreparable damage to the economy of this small hamlet.
The landslide was so huge that it blocked the Karakuram Highway, located across the Hunza River, at opposite side of Attabad. The flow of Hunza River has not been blocked, however. Huge clouds of dark dust spread over the entire valley, upto Khyber Gojal, in upper Hunza.
Reporters from different villages of the valley told Pamir Times that at one time the dust was so dense that it completely blanketed the entire valley, hindering visibility.
Speaker of GBLA, Wazir Baig, elected representative of Hunza Valley, told Pamir Times that the damage caused to the village would be compensated after analysis of the scale of destruction. He also said that local administration had rapidly moved to the site to carry out search and rescue operations.
Pamir Times had recently used this space to highlight the plight of Attabad.