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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz orders immediate relief measures after GB lake outburst flooding

  • Premier says all possible steps will be taken for the rehabilitation of the affected residents
Published May 8, 2022
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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday ordered emergency measures to cope with the situation arising in the wake of the damage caused by a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) from the Shisper Glacier in Hunza.

The directives were issued after Hunza’s Hassanabad bridge on the Karakoram Highway was swept away by flooding which originated from the Shisper glacier.

In a statement issued today, the prime minister ordered authorities to ensure the protection of lives and property of people and their evacuation to safer places.

Expressing his deep grief and sorrow over the losses, the prime minister said that all possible steps would be taken for the rehabilitation of the affected residents.

He also directed relief teams to deliver food, medicines, and emergency supplies to the affected areas.

PM Shehbaz also asked officials to prepare an alternative route due to the collapse of the bridge on the Karakoram Highway.

Hunza district hit by massive glacial lake outburst flood

He directed for immediate restoration of 700MW and 250MW powerhouses on a war footing and said that its expenditures would be borne away by the federal government.

The prime minister also summoned a report regarding damage caused to Karakorum Highway. "We will take all possible steps for the full relief and rehabilitation of the affected people."

Earlier, a massive glacial lake outburst flood on Saturday occurred in Hunza District’s Hassanabad Village after the glacial lake formed over Shisper Glacier started receding 5,000 Cusecs water while initiating the glacial melting prior to the normal duration.

Remote Sensing Specialist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Dr Sher Mohammad told APP that the glacial lake size was 15 percent more than the recorded lake size for the past three years at the pre-outburst level of the glacial lake.

Mohammad said the massive Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in Hunza from the Shishpar glacier was mainly triggered due to abrupt temperature rise in the Northern Areas due to the prevailing heatwave phenomenon.

He said that the glaciers were melting at a faster pace mainly due to heatwave, adding, that in the past 20 days, there has been 40 percent increase in the Shisper glacier lake area due to expedited glacier melting after heatwave impacts gripped the Northern Areas as mostly glacial lakes are formed in May but it got developed one month ahead in April.

Dr Sher said the Karakoram Highway (KKH) Bridge was partially damaged due to the massive flooding that disconnected Gilgit and Hunza. It was the only major collateral damage reported due to GLOF, he said, and added, not only are glacial lakes rapidly forming in them, but they are also appearing ahead of their normal time and bursting into floods.

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