GLOF alert issued for Hassanabad, Hunza

Met office recommends installing automatic weather station to monitor situation; team to visit Hunza in coming week

Our Correspondent February 28, 2021


The meteorological department issued a GLOF (glacial lake outburst flood) alert on Sunday for Hassanabad, a mountainous valley in Hunza.

According to the met department, there was a threat of a lake in Hunza bursting owing to a surge in Shishper glacier's melting and stoppage in the flow of water.

Due to the rising temperatures the glacial lake is expected to erupt in the summer, with experts marking the next three to four weeks as crucial.

Meanwhile, the alert recommended continuous monitoring of the situation.

In its alert, the met department further recommended installing an automatic weather station at Hassanabad.

“A station monitoring the water level and water discharge should be installed on Shishper Glacier till the arrival of Hydro Meteorological Equipment proposed by GLOF Project 2,” the met office notification read.

Also read: Experts to study surging Shishper glacier in Gilgit-Baltistan

In addition, the notification maintained that immediate steps should be taken to ensure the discharge of water from the glacial lake, for which hydraulic siphon technique should be used to minimise the potential risk through water discharge.

According to the met department, a technical team will be visiting Hunza in the first week of March to install the automatic weather station on the lake.

The met office has requested the Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority to provide a water-level gauge.

Shishper is a surging or advancing glacier, formed around the beginning of the 20th century, after the then known as Hassanabad glacier in the north of the Hunza valley split into two.

The ice-dammed lake flooded twice last year damaging a small part of Karakoram highway besides threatening erosion of land downstream.


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