Mirpur - WAPDA authorities and Mirpur district administration on Monday agreed to gradually reduce the water level in the fully-impounded Mirpur AJK-based country’s second largest reservoir.
The Mangla Dam to reduce the local public apprehensions and fears about the dam’s water as the only and basic cause of the recent frequent earthquakes of moderate intensity experienced in Mirpur city and the adjoining areas, it was officially said.
“Decision to this effect was taken in an extra-ordinary important meeting between Mirpur Deputy Commissioner Tahir Mumtaz Raja-led Mirpur District administration and the local WAPDA authorities deputed at Mangla”, says an official handout issued by Press Information Department (PID) of AJK government here late Monday.
Chief Engineer WAPDA Mangla Shekh Abdul Majeed and Project Director Mangla Dam represented WAPDA in the meeting. The Local district administration, headed by Deputy Commissioner Tahir Mumtaz Raja, were comprising Collector Mangla Dam Affairs Ch. Muhammad Ayub, Director Works Mangla Dam Housing Authority Engr. Inam Ul Haq Chaudhry, Divisional Information Officer Javed Malik and others.
The WAPDA authorities comprising Chief Engineer Mangla Dam and his aides were apprised of the mass grave concern prevailing among the local population about the fully-impounded Mangla Dam reservoir to the highest level of 1242 feet – which they described as the main cause of the recent frequent earthquakes of the moderate intensity of 4.0 and 4.4 magnitude at the Richter scale respectively on September 10 and 11 this year in only 14 hours duration that jolted Mirpur city and some of the areas in its outskirts, leaving a great panic and unrest among the local population.
After detailed and in-depth review, it was decided in the meeting to gradually reduce the water level from the existing highest level of 11242 feet in the reservoir – with effect from Tuesday – September 15, the handout added.
It may be recalled that it was the 24th day of same month of September 24, last year when the devastating earthquake of moderate intensity measuring 5.8 at Richter Scale had stroke Mirpur City and its adjoining areas in adjoining districts of Mirpur and Bhimber in Mirpur Division - in twin constituencies of LA-3 and 04 in this district of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
The catastrophe had left at least 40 persons dead besides injuring of minimum of 800 others sustained injuries in two major phases of the earthquake in Mirpur and adjoining Bhimbher districts on September 24, and 26, last year.
The September 24, last year catastrophe was followed by repeated aftershocks of moderate intensity experienced in the same areas of Mirpur city and in its outskirts at the periphery of Mangla lake with pause.
In the recent past on June 13, this year – Mirpur city was shaken by the earthquake of mild intensity that lasted for about 05 to 06 seconds.
The frequent jolts, with pause, since September 24 last year in Mirpur and adjoining areas spread severe panic among the population in entire area.
Seismic experts including geologists as well as local population, while expressing grave concern over frequent experiencing of earthquake in Mirpur and adjoining areas, have already suggested to the AJK government – besides WAPDA to manage the seismic survey of Mirpur district, which holds the country’s second largest reservoir Mangla Dam in its lap, to ascertain the real cause of the frequent experiencing of the catastrophe.