Rivers of Pakistan – Hunza River

by on February 2, 2011
in Rivers of Pakistan

Hunza river of Pakistan

This is the main river of  Hunza which is one of the most beautiful location in the northern areas of Pakistan. It is originated through the joining of the Khunjerab and kilik gorges (nalas), which are basically fed by the glaciers from the mountains. It joins River Gilgit and River Naltar and finally falls into the River Indus.

It cuts through the Karakoram range of mountains from north to south. The great Karakoram highway crosses this river near Nagar and Hunza valleys. Hunza River can very easily be included in not only one of the most beautiful rivers in Pakistan but also in the world. The river flows along with Karakoram highway coming down from Khunjerab Top. While driving up to the famous top which acts as a border between Pakistan and China, this river flows along. At present due to the Ata Abad Lake formation, KKH has been interrupted and a part of this journey along river Hunza has to be taken by boat. Hunza river meets with Nagar River and other regional rivers on its course down to the south. It eventually adds up into the mighty Indus. Hunza river is very beautiful. Hunza is one of the most visited regions of Pakistan by the foreign tourists.

The Hunza Lake Catastrophe

Hunza lake of Pakistan

On 4th January 2010 disaster struck the picturesque valley of Hunza in the form of a massive landslide. The landslide caused a major blockade of the Hunza River thereby creating an artificial lake. This lake is called as Atta Abad lake. The lake fed by the melting glaciers expanded steadily and is now 353 feet deep with the water rising at an average of 2 to 3 feet daily. Many villages and at an estimate 100 houses have submerged in water. Around 1,700 people have been rendered homeless as the rising water gushed into the villages.

The officials fear that the worst is yet to come as the lake might burst its banks and cause more flooding which would disrupt the lives of 50,000 people besides causing considerable damage to the infrastructure. Even the Karakoram Highway is under threat. Part of the Karakoram Highway is already closed because of the flooding of Gilmat a resort on the Highway linking Pakistan and China.

Steps Taken By the Government

To lower the pressure, a spillway is being dug to divert the water from the lake to its old course the River Gilgit. The government has also set up relief camps where medicines and food supplies are available. Nine tent camps for the displaced people have been set up as well. To warn the people of any emergency, warning sirens have been installed in control rooms and help centers throughout Hunza and Gilgit.