Tuesday Sep 24 2019

Mangla Dam safe after earthquake but 900MW reportedly lost


MIRPUR/ISLAMABAD: The Mangla Dam has reportedly lost 900 megawatts' worth of power after a powerful earthquake hit Pakistan's northern areas, sources said Tuesday shortly after a spokesperson for the government's power and water authority said the reservoir was safe.

The sources at the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) said there was a possibility that the lost 900MW would translate into power shortage in some cities.

An official spokesperson, however, said the earthquake did not impact the Mangla Dam or its powerhouse according to an initial observation and that both were safe.

Data from the systems installed in the Mangla Dam and its powerhouse was being gathered, the WAPDA spokesperson added, noting that the earthquake, however, ended up dirtying water in Mangla Lake.

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake had struck various areas in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tuesday evening, with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) noting that its depth was 10 kilometres and epicentre one kilometre southeast of Mirpur in AJK.

The WAPDA official said the turbines at the Mangla Dam and its powerhouse were shut down on a precautionary basis but will be reopened once Mangla Lake water was cleaned up.

Cracks, fissures in Upper Jhelum Canal

Earlier, it was reported that work to turn on the same turbines was ongoing after they were shut down over an earthquake-related safety scare.

Separately, Geo News reported that cracks and fissures had appeared in Upper Jhelum Canal, translating into the risk of a possible flooding in the nearby areas. Flood water, however, managed to enter the Chak Nigah village in Jatlan town of AJK's Mirpur.

The water supply to the canal, therefore, was halted.

On the other hand, a video — not independently verified by — purportedly showed that pieces of rock from the hills adjacent to the Mangla Dam breaking off and falling down to the bottom.

Additional reporting by Mian Saifur Rehman