GILGIT: The Pakistan Meteorological Departm­ent has issued an alert for Gilgit-Baltistan and some parts of Khyber Pakhtun­khwa (KP), warning of the possibility of flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) amid rising temperatures.

According to a press release issued by PMD, temperatures in GB and KP are expected to remain 4 to 6 degrees higher than the normal this week, followed by a rain-bearing system during the following week.

The PMD warned that river inflows will increase and there are high chances of GLOF and flash floods, in the vulnerable glaciated areas of GB and KP. Dist­rict administration, local organisations, and communities have been asked to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures due to expected GLOF/ flash floods, especially during Eidul Azha.

According to a notification issued by the Gilgit de­puty commissioner and the chairman of the Dist­rict Disaster Manage­ment Authority as per the gui­d­e­­lines of PMD, the exp­e­c­ted heat wave, and rain next week, can cause GLOF incidents, land sliding, and flash floods across GB.

The notification advised local people to avoid going to mountainous areas and near nallahs and rivers. Envi­ronmental experts say the GB residents are most vulnerable to glacier melting impacts in the country.

Last year, above 30 GLOF incidents were rep­orted across GB, leaving 20 people dead and thousands of people homeless.

Pakistan has more glaciers than any other country outside the polar reg­ion — nearly 5,300 in the Karakoram, Hima­la­yan, and Hindu Kush ranges, according to PMD.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2023

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