In 1911, as a result of an earthquake of magnitude nine in the Pamirs, in the upper part of the Bartang gorge (Runan and Murghab districts), a high-mountainous (3255 m above sea level, 505 m depth) Lake Sarez was formed.
As a result of the earthquake, about two billion cubic meters of stone collapsed into the Murghab valley from the right bank, creating a natural dam about 570 m high, called the Usoi dam in memory of the inhabitants of the deceased village. The very first kishlak to which the water came was Sarez, which occupied a wide terrace on the right bank of the Murghab. The newborn lake was named Sarez.
Rumors of a rapidly growing reservoir (the level of Sarez rose by 37 cm per day) contributed to the fact that an expedition of the mining engineer Bukinich appeared on its shores 2.5 years later. His conclusions about the unreliability of the dam and the need for further monitoring of it, in turn, helped to attract the attention of the international community right up to the present day - the lake is now under constant control. Numerous subsequent expeditions showed that there is no threat of a breakthrough to Lake Sarez, the blockage is strong and reliable.
Three years from the moment of its formation, the Usoi dam locked the water as if it were a castle - in 1913 the lake was a closed, no runoff reservoir about 30 km long, the maximum width was 2 km, and the maximum depth reached 280 meters, but already in 1914 water appeared in a dry channel below the Murghab. Under tremendous pressure, it seeped through the stony thickness of the Usoi dam and began to knock out of it with strong powerful jets. There were fears that Murghab could wash out the dam from below. However, the results presented in 1915 by the expedition of Professor I.A. Preobrazhensky, this fear was denied.
Lake Sarez had been filling for 10 years, when, finally, another expedition led by O.K. Lange, after performing engineering-geological and hydrological studies, it was established that the flow rate of water filtering through the Usoi dam in August 1926 was equal to 70 m3 / s, that is, it reached the usual flow rate in the Murgab river for this time of year. The news was perceived by water specialists as a complete exclusion of danger.
Meanwhile, the filtering waters from under Usoy, merging, form a river, which after a few kilometers joins the Kudara River and from the confluence point is already called Bartang, flowing into the Pyanj. From Sarez to Panj, stormy Bartang runs along a narrow gorge, carrying tons of sand, silt and mud.
Over more than a century of history of the lake's existence, more than 40 scientific expeditions have visited it, and after gaining independence, four international conferences on Sarez were held in Tajikistan, at which a wide range of issues were discussed.
Today, the Committee for Emergency Situations of Tajikistan (KES) constantly monitors the state of the water level, for which sensors are installed in two places on the bottom of the lake, as well as devices that monitor strong movements - the tectonics of the region, monitoring the state of the Pravoberezhny landslide, which also poses a certain danger ... All these data are collected in Dushanbe in the Usoy Control Center. In the coming years, the Sarez monitoring system will be completely renewed at the expense of international funds. In addition, the Committee for Emergency Situations annually conducts emergency training for residents of the Bartang Valley settlements. In the area, evacuation paths and safety islands have been created, on which there are emergency supplies in the form of warm clothes, tents, and medicines.
You can get to the lake by a specially ordered helicopter or by car - to the village of Barchadiv in the Bartang gorge and then on foot. You can also go on foot to the upper reaches of the Gunt River, from the Lyangar village, through the pass of the same name (4620 m), and then to the Irkht Bay to the Sarez Lake.
But enjoying the view of the "Tajik dragon" - this is how the lake looks on the map, it is better to resort to the services of our travel company, which will take care of all the troubles, from obtaining a special permit to visit Sarez and to a comfortable journey to it. Then your vacation will be bright, colorful, safe and unforgettable!