May 28, 2010

Continuous evacuation of Pakistanis as glacier-fed lake threatens to burst

The quickly-rising Attabad Lake in a mountainous northern region of the country has resulted in over 17,000 people already having to leave their homes. The lake, which was formed from a massive landslide on January 4 that cost at least 20 lives and blocked the River Hunza, left thousands stranded as well as transportation and trade with China disrupted due to closure of the area’s Karakoram Highway.

On Saturday, May 15, the water level of the lake was noted to have already risen an alarming 341 feet, just a few meters below its limit, and submerged 120 houses, resulting in homelessness for 1,300 people and 12,000 others in some 36 downstream villages to seek higher ground.

Officials and experts now fear that the wall around the lake may burst, releasing a tidal wave up to 60 meters high into the valley.

Downstream evacuations continue, with the government having set up shelters and relief camps as well as a siren system to alert the locals of danger. Visiting the region, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani pledged financial help. Meanwhile, army engineers have dug a spillway to divert the water into a river, but experts caution that the channel could fail. Some officials now recommend requesting help from China, whose government has more experience in these situations.

Our appreciation, Pakistani government, officials, and all personnel working to assist the region’s residents. We are deeply affected by this bad news and pray that with Allah’s grace, may the Pakistani people be protected as humanity hastens to ensure our planetary safety through the adoption of eco-conscious lifestyles.

Ever concerned for humanity’s welfare in facing this plight, Supreme Master Ching Hai in a September 2009 videoconference in Peru once again spoke of such imminent global warming effects as glacial ice melt, urging for wise action.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Glaciers melt in many places so dramatically that one moment there are massive floods, and soon after, a drought. So how can we handle the mass migration of tens of millions of people all at once?

It’s very difficult and maybe even impossible. And it’s not just numbers. Every child, family, and society will be affected in some way by this experience of trauma and tragedy.

We are not ready for the changes that are coming. We are not ready at all. We are not prepared enough. Some of the changes are even anticipated to be unexpected, because there are many complicated interacting factors.

The smartest way would be to stop the worsening of global warming by being vegan. It sounds very simple but it is the best solution, the most effective and the effect of it will be felt almost immediately.

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