Khunjerab Pass poses health hazards for tourists: Officials
With an increase in tourism for the northern areas, the Khunjerab Pass – which is the border between Pakistan and China – has become the new hot-favorite destination for tourists. However, this is causing a lot of health-related issues.
The most common illnesses that tourists face when they visit such high-altitude areas include breathing problems, motion sickness, altitude sickness, and physical harm due to land-sliding.
A levies officer at Khunjerab Pass, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, informed HTV that more than 3000 people had visited the pass that day and this was usually the tally for every day. He advised that tourist must be aware of good healthcare centers near the area and should be updated about the weather forecasts in order to avoid any unpleasant situation.
“Khunjerab pass is the last tourist spot in Pakistan in terms of geography, at an elevation of 4693 meters,” said the officer. “It is great to see so many tourists, local as well as international, visiting the spot in such huge numbers, considering the difficulties this location poses in terms of low levels of oxygen and difficult access to the border through the Attabad Lake.”
He informed HTV that the lake was once the Attabad village – but it was demolished from existence along with all other land routes linking the border to Pakistan’s other regions in the 2010 landslide. The first land route after the landslide is expected to be opened on August 14, 2015.
The local officials have advised tourists to leave from the dangerous terrain due to continuous landslides and rising levels of water. The officials have informed that many areas surrounding the River Gilgit and River Indus have already been hit by floods.
Huge patches of the Karakoram Highway have been damaged by landslides and some parts have been affected by flood waters. Tourists are advised to take alternative routes – roads have been closed for incoming traffic at various places.