Pakistan - Lokalsamfund risikerer jordskred og ødelæggelse af små landsbyer
PAKISTAN: Kagan communities at landslide and flood risk
IRINnews.org, 29. november 2005
Mindst 12 mindre landsbysamfund ligger i akut fare for at blive delvist ødelagt af jordskred, som en eftervirkning af jordskælvet i oktober. Undergrunden er ustabil med revner i de øverste jordlag, hvilket indikerer jordskred i forbindelse med jordoverfladens bevægelser under vinterens frostpåvirkning og forårets optøning. Men allerede nu er flere landsbyer i akut fare, og der sker konstant overvågning af enkelte områder, hvorfra der er muligt at evakuere befolkningen med kort varsel.
MUZAFFARABAD, 29 Nov 2005 (IRIN) - Parts of at least 12 villages in Pakistan's quake zone could be wiped out by landslides and floods and must be evacuated, a top geologist and United Nations consultant advising the Pakistani government on landslides, warned on Tuesday.
"Parts of Chikarhas, Karrian and Jebal Danna have to be evacuated. Parts of mountains are slipping away and whole sides of mountains have come down," said Professor Jean Schneider from the Centre of Natural Hazards and Risk Management in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Near Jared and Kawai in the Kagan Valley a whole flank of a mountain must be evacuated as cracks are widening.
"We have to observe how fast they are opening. If they accelerate, people have to be taken out immediately," Schneider said.
The 8 October earthquake, which killed at least 80,000 people and left over 3 million homeless, sent a ripple of destruction through South Asia.
The earthquake triggered hundreds of landslides and it is estimated that over a thousand people are still buried under them.
As well as leaving mounds of ruins and debris in its wake, the land is also now riddled with deep, gaping cracks. Fault lines cutting through mountains have literally split them in half. With precipitation, caused by the onset of winter snow and rain, Schneider says the results could be catastrophic.
"The dam is now holding back the water of two valleys and the water table is rising. With snowmelt, spilling over will happen for certain and as soon as it spills over and erodes the dam, debris flow can rush down at high speed, at approximately 50 – 100 km an hour," Schneider warned. "Everything will be destroyed, farm houses, dwellings...and the [district] capital Hattian is less than 10 km away."
Snowmelt happens in March but with unpredictable weather, it could happen as early as the end of December – all it takes is a few sunny days, the expert said.
Landslides have also blocked roads, severely hampering the delivery and distribution of aid as well as posing a serious danger for drivers and survivors who must negotiate the perilous mountain passes to get to relief.
Huge slabs of rock jut out from the sides of crumbling mountains, hanging precariously over the heads of soldiers and labourers toiling to clear roads for aid and reconstruction traffic. Three men on road clearance in the area have already been killed.
Along stretches of the road next to the Neelum River are the remains of crumpled cars and the empty mangled shells of trucks pelted by rocks from above or hurled into the river.
To make matters worse, countless bridges have been destroyed and many others are still being used even though they are unsafe.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani military has ordered the closure of several roads for repair but desperate villagers risk their lives daily, slipping past roadblocks to negotiate the precarious, ruined roads. Carrying tents and aid they dodge rocks showering down from above, occasionally glancing up to make sure it is clear.
"The army is doing its best to just get the loosest rocks down, but there’s so much loose material shattered they just cannot manage. The rain is worsening the whole situation," Schneider said.
Se flere artikler her om jordskælvet og om det meget omfattende og krævende arbejde med at fordele nødhjælp til ofre i området
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