PM Shehbaz orders relief measures on war-footing in flood-hit Hunza

Two hydropower plants, bridge swept away: Houses, crops inundated: Tourists stranded

By: News Desk
Published: 03:59 PM, 8 May, 2022
PM Shehbaz orders relief measures on war-footing in flood-hit Hunza
Caption: TV grab.
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In the aftermath of a major Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in Hunza. a trail of destruction could be seen everywhere as two small hydropower plants also washed away in the flood. While expressing grave concern, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered the authorities to provide relief measures on war-footing to stem the vast-scale damage, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Sunday.

On Saturday, Hunza's Hassanabad Bridge on the Karakoram Highway which connects Pakistan with China was swept away by a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood from the Shishper Glacier. 

The floodwaters destroyed the standing crops and ruined houses on both sides of the Hassanabad Bridge. Besides, scores of tourists have been stranded in the area following the collapse of the bridge.

The local administration has declared emergency in the area. Due to land erosion caused by the flood, half kilometer area of the Karakoram Highway was severely damaged and two hydro power houses were swept away. 

The district administration and the Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority after imposing emergency evacuated all the houses near the Nullah and people were shifted to safer places. 

In Sherabad area, the compound of one Jamaat Khana and adjacent houses were damaged. The water channel, communication system and internet were in disarray after the outburst of the glacial lake.

However, the deputy commissioner claimed that floodwater had passed and water flow in the river was returned to normal. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took serious notice of the situation ordering authorities to ensure safety of the lives and properties of the stranded Hunza people. 

He ordered for their safe evacuation, besides instructing authorities to provide them food, medicines and other necessary articles on war-footing. 

He directed the federal departments to extend their full cooperation to the GB government in tackling the unfortunate situation. 

He also summoned a report from the concerned authorities detailing the scope of destruction in the area. He directed to devise alternate routes after the collapse of Hassanabad Bridge

He sought a report as how much irrigation and drinking water had been wasted, besides ordering immediate restoration of 700MW and 250MW power houses and estimation of cost to repair them. He vowed that federal government would pay for the repair of the power generation houses.  

A directive was also issued for the provision of substitute access to the area after the crumbling of Hasanabad bridge.

The prime minister directed for making of estimate regarding disruption of agriculture and potable water system in the area besides, two powerhouses which had also been affected.

The prime minister also summoned a report regarding damage caused to Karakorum Highway.

Reporter Awais Kiyani