Flood warning for Chitral areas amid glacier burst threat

By: News Desk      Published: 05:02 PM, 20 Jun, 2020
Flood warning for Chitral areas amid glacier burst threat

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa issued an alert for part of Chitral district amid the rising threat of a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF), reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Saturday.

The warning was issued for the Golen Valley as there are chances of Ashpar Glacier exploding amid the rising temperature from Sunday to Tuesday followed by rain during the next two days.

The combined effects of heat and rains will enhance the risk of GLOF in the valley from Monday to Thursday, as all lakes associated with the glacier are already full to the brim.

This area is now prone to the GLOF as the climate change is affecting the entire mountainous region of South Asia. In July last year, several villages were inundated in the valley after a glacial lake burst caused by the Ashpar glacier. The flood had also washed away bridges and roads as well as power lines in the area. But this phenomenon had proven deadly in July 2015 when massive torrents and flash floods caused severe damage to local infrastructure and claimed several lives.

Last year, scientists showed by combining the declassified US spy satellite images from the mid-1970s to prove that the melting of Himalayan glaciers had doubled since the turn of the century, with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades.

The scientists were able to create the first detailed, four-decade record of ice along the 2,000km mountain chain.

The analysis showed that eight billion tonnes of ice was being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by five meters annually.