Heat-induced glacier melting puts G-B at risk


ISLAMABAD:

With the national thermometer readings reaching new heights, the Meteorological Department has issued a cautionary statement, alerting of possible riverine flooding stemmed from ice glacier melt.

The warning draws attention to the imminent peril of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) and unexpected swift flooding in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and adjacent lowland areas.

A call to action has been made for all relevant agencies to prepare and initiate protective measures against the anticipated flooding.

Locals in the Gilgit-Baltistan zone have been notified of the high probability of GLOF occurrences and rapid flooding expected within the current week.

Read more: Fresh GLOF Warning for Hassanabad, Hunza

Pakistan boasts more than 7,000 glaciers within its territories, among the most extensive collections globally.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported that by 2018, glaciers in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had given rise to over 3,000 lakes. Out of these, 33 bodies of water are known to pose significant overflow risks, jeopardizing the safety of over 7 million people in downstream communities.

In 2022, the nation faced extensive flooding due to unusual monsoon showers, resulting in a catastrophe that submerged a third of the country and led to the tragic demise of 1,700 individuals.

The catastrophic floods impacted upwards of 33 million individuals, most predominantly affecting Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

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