Kashmir to blast stream’s way blocked by avalanche

February 18th, 2012 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Feb 18 (IANS) The state government Saturday decided to seek the army’s help to survey and subsequently blast through a Kashmir stream blocked by an avalanche that resulted in a glacial lake, threatening the lives thousands of people living near it in Ganderbal district.

“Saturday we would carry out a survey of the avalanche and its fallout in Sonamarg area of Ganderbal district,” an official said.

“After evaluation, the avalanche, which has formed a glacial lake by obstructing the flow of the Sindh stream, would be control-blasted to make way for the accumulated water,” Amir Ali, officer on special duty at the provincial headquarters and in charge of the disaster management cell, told IANS.

“People living downstream are advised not to venture near the stream…,” said Ali.

On how the authorities learnt about the avalanche in Sonamarg area that is snowbound these days, Amir Ali said: “We have three hydro electric power generation projects in Ganderbal district. Engineers posted at Upper Sindh Hydel Project (stage 1) and Upper Sindh Hydel Project (state 2) noticed on Feb 13 that the discharge of water in the Sindh stream had virtually stopped.”

“Teams were moved on foot by the power project officials to locate the block. The teams reported that ahead of Sonamarg tourist resort, near Nilgrad, an avalanche had blocked the flow of the water,” he said.

“Saturday morning, hundred cusec (cubic centimetres per second) water has started flowing downstream and this indicated the accumulated water is now overflowing the avalanche,” he said.

“After an aerial survey today (Saturday), the avalanche will be subjected to controlled blasting to make way for water and defuse the threat,” added Ali.

People living downstream have been cautioned to remain alert.

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