Glacial lake outburst in Chitral damages house, shops

CHITRAL, July 08 (INP): A glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) was reported in the Golain region of Chitral District in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) following which a huge area was inundated in floodwaters.

Flood-like situation developed in the tourist favourite spot when glacier ‘Azghor’ exploded.

A number of trees were uprooted because of the flood while several houses, shops and crops were also damaged.

“At least three houses and three shops have been damaged in the flood. No loss of life has been reported,” said provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) K-P.

“Rescue teams have been sent to the affected areas and have started their rescue work.”

The floodwater also caused a temporary suspension of water from Golain Hydel Power Station; however, it continued to produce electricity using the stored water.

This was the first incident of GLOF since 2015.

A similar incident had struck in Chitral, killing at least three people dead, in addition to extensive damage to property and infrastructure, affecting more than a quarter of a million.

A report on the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) had said the Karakoram and western Himalaya areas were seeing more variability and a higher probability of snowfall.

But Philippus Wester from the Nepal-based ICIMOD, who led the study, had said while some glaciers in Pakistan are stable and a few are even gaining ice, they will nonetheless all start to melt in time as the planet heats up.

The report had warned over a third of the ice in the region would melt by 2100 even if governments took tough action to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.