Bridge collapses in Hunza due to Shisper glacial lake outburst

HUNZA: A massive glacial lake outburst on Saturday occured in Hunza district’s Hassanabad village after the glacial lake formed over Shisper started receding 5,ooo cusecs water while initiating the glacial melting prior to the normal duration. 

According to sources, Hassanbad bridge also collapsed due to Shisper glacial lake outburst, posing great threat to the settlements in Hassanabad. A micro-hydel power house was also reported to be damaged by the glacial outburst.

As per sources, no loss of life has been reported as yet. Rescue authorities came through to ensure safety of all residents of Hassanabad.

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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 Shishpar glacier was mainly triggered due to abrupt temperature rise in the Northern Areas due to the prevailing heatwave phenomenon.

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

“Not only are glacial lakes rapidly forming in them, but they are also appearing ahead of their normal time and bursting into floods”, he added.

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Dr Sher Mohammad also said that sophiticated monitoring and supervision is to be ensured at all times to minimise the loss of propety and life.

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