Photos From Pakistan: Landslide Results in Massive Lake

Pakistan Travel
by Hal Amen Jun 6, 2010
The story of disaster from Pakistan’s Hunza Valley continues.

BACK IN MARCH, MATADOR Abroad intern Heather Carreiro brought us Update: Pakistan’s Karakoram Highway Blocked by Major Landslide. The massive slide piled into a natural dam on the Hunza River, blocking its flow and creating a large lake that stretched seven miles up-valley.

Since then, the lake has been continuously growing and is now ten miles long and beginning to spill over the dam. Below are two aerial photos, courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory, that show the newborn lake on March 16, and again on May 2.

This thermal emission image renders vegetation red.

Meanwhile, life for the people of the Hunza region is still totally disrupted. The Karakoram Highway, buried by the slide, wasn’t just used by tourists. It’s the only major road in the area, and the closure has meant that thousands of people are now dependent on airlifts for survival goods.

Small boats have been brought in, and bridges are being built, but now the worry is that the dam is on the verge of bursting, resulting in a flood that could be as devastating as the landslide.

Photo:, Zulfiqar Ali Khan & Gulsher Khan

For more photos and info, check out the photo essay at, and don’t miss the excellent coverage from the Pamir Times.

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