LAKE SAREZ - Sights of Tajikistan LAKE SAREZ - Sights of Tajikistan

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Sarez Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Tajikistan, located in the Pamirs. It was formed on February 6, 1911, after a strong 7-point earthquake, when the Murgab River was jammed as a result of a huge landslide, forming a natural dam with a height of 567 meters. Echoes of the earthquake recorded thousands of kilometers from the scene - at the Pulkovo seismic station near St. Petersburg. The filled hollow in the same year flooded the village of Sarez, which gave the name to the lake. The Sarez Lake is stretched almost 60 km in length (55.8), and its depth is about 500 meters. This lake is called the pearl of the Pamir mountains - so it is extremely beautiful. The path to the lake from the valley of the Bartang River (Murgab) begins in the village of Nisur and passes through the pass Zharniyshshttag into the Borchadiv village. From here the path leads up the left bank of Murgab, then rising high above the gorge, then descending to the water itself. By the way, information for tourists wishing to see with their own eyes the Pamir "watery" miracle: to visit the lake you need to have a special pass, since the territory of the lake is under protection. Not far from the stream called Hurmakher, the path turns to the right and rises steeply to the Usoi dam. Behind this obstructed view of tourists first the Lake Shadau appears, and only then Lake Sarez. Shadau has the same history of origin as Sarez, but compared to the latter, it is small, and its length is only 4 kilometers. Shadau in beauty is in no way inferior to Lake Sarez, the water in it is brightly turquoise, while in Sarez it is dark blue. The banks of the Lake of Sarez are very steep, and it is extremely difficult to walk along them in still undiscovered places. Therefore in these places tourists do not go, but prefer to connect the bays and shores of Lake Sarez with routes through mountain passes. In the north, Sarez is surrounded by the western extremity of the Muzkol Range, with a maximum peak height of 5900 meters. In the west and south, the lake is surrounded by spurs of the Rushan and North Alichursky ridges; to this day, many of their peaks, at a height of 5,800 meters, remain unconquered. In particular, from the unconquered remains a little-known high point of the region, towering at an altitude of 5,936 meters. It is located 2.5 kilometers from the Sadmid Pass, and in height exceeds the 5931-meter peak of Kulin, which is located above the right bank of the Langar River. * Sad birth story. Lake Sarez was formed quite recently, just a hundred years ago. It just happened in very depressing circumstances. The fact is that on the night of February 5 to February 6, 1911, at 23:15, an event occurred in the Pamirs that somewhat changed the geography of the region's terrain and caused pain and harm to many people. This event was a terrible earthquake that killed 105 people. That night forced the mountains to move, which, of course, caused a severe collapse of the stones. However, this phenomenon was not a rarity for the surrounding residents, they must have fled from their homes in anticipation of a new earth tremor, when a huge piece of the mountain with unexpected ease fell off and, gathering speed, a huge mass collapsed into the valley. The rock became a tombstone, under which and now the village of Usoy and all its inhabitants are buried. In addition, the mountain blocked the channel of Murgab, forming a natural dam in the twinkling of an eye a half kilometer in height. As a result of a collapse over the river, a fog formed from the dust, which dissipated only after a few days. So, on that ill-fated night from severe earthquakes, there was a terrible collapse of the mountain in the Murghab valley near the village of Usoy (then still) Oroshor volost, Pamir district, from which the entire village died under the rubble with all the population and cattle. At the same time, about the incident in the Oroshor volost disaster was not known for some time either in Khorog or in the Pamir post. And it turned out that because the massive collapses were completely destroyed in the valleys of Bartang and Kudara, those unpretentious "artificial structures" of poles in the form of stairs and balconies, which are usually arranged by local residents in impassable areas to maintain communication on the valleys. Nobody could guess what happened, except, perhaps, the inhabitants of the village of Usoy, who were buried under the collapsed mountain. In addition to the destroyed kishlak, four more nearby settlements were completely destroyed (more than 50 households). Probably, the formed lake should be called Usoyisky in memory of those who forever remained buried under the rubble. The village of Sarez was somewhat higher upstream. It was flooded already later, when the basin began to swell with water. In 1911 the water came in an average of thirty-six, in 1915-eighteen, in 1934-ten centimeters a day. By 1913 the length of the lake had reached twenty-eight kilometers; by the end of the thirties - seventy-five. By the beginning of the 1940s, the lake level was about forty meters from the edge of the dam. * A threat. The natural dam formed during the earthquake of 1911 and now known as the Usoi Shroud may be destroyed by the scientists' suggestion. Since the dam is seismically quite unstable, a crash can occur at the next strong earthquake. The threat is that several states can undergo flooding, namely, the territory of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Therefore, in 2000, the governments of the four countries appealed to the world community to provide the region with intellectual and financial assistance in solving the Sarez lake problem. In the same year, under the supervision of the World Bank, an international project was launched, known as the Sarez Lake: Risk Reduction Project. In principle, intellectual assistance was provided, but to make an idea into life, money is needed. So, a catastrophe can happen at any moment. But, when exactly it will happen and whether it will happen at all - this is still a big question, the answer to which no one knows, even those most notorious scientists who predicted the disappearance of Sarez. Therefore, to panic about this and fearfully await another devastating earthquake in the Usoy dam area is like waiting for an alien attack or a new ice age. In this respect, nature is a very mysterious thing, and we are only entitled to submit humbly to what it creates or destroys.