Tuesday, June 1, 2010

When climate change force people to break their own homes

Hundreds of families living near the dangerous Hunza river in downstream have no other choice, except to break their own homes...

They are breaking their walls, removing roofs, taking out woods, bricks and other precious parts of their homes, before the artificial lake would burst and destroy each and every thing. They are doing this all just because they are poor and cannot afford to reconstruct home from zero. They want to protect and safe as much as possible these things so they can reuse them when start reconstructing their homes.

This is in continuation of my previous blogs on Hunza crisis where back in January 2010, a massive landslide blocked the Hunza river flow and turn it to a dangerous artificial lake of more than 350 feet depth and 20 km long. The rising river water finally reached the spillway and outflow has increased from 197 cusec to almost 800 in last ten days. Experts say when the outflow will reach 1000 cusec, there would be high risk of lake outburst. With the increase of water outflow from spillway, river width is increasing and villages located near river are coming under water.

There are major glaciers in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.Biafo and Hisper glacier together make the world largest glacier system (more than 100 km) outside the polar region. With increasing temperature, glaciers are melting rapidly and thus increasing risk of lake outburst in Hunza river.

Government is announcing support to victim families while army and relief organizations are busy in relocating families, however, lot to do yet.

Photo: IRIN

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