Karakoram Highway opens up for traffic after three days

Floods, landslides induced by heavy rainfall caused blockages at several points along the highway


Our Corresondent July 23, 2021
Karakoram Highway. PHOTO: FILE

GILGIT-BALTISTAN:

The Karakoram Highway (KKH) was opened for all types of traffic and tourists after three days as rain-induced floods and landslides caused blockages at different points along the highway. 

The highway was cleared of debris on Thursday evening, following relentless efforts by the Frontier Workers Organisation (FWO), the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. 

Spells of heavy rain in Gilgit-Baltistan from 20 July had led to the blockage of the highway, with mudflows at more than 20 locations between Tatta Pani and Raikot.

The Chilas assistant commissioner informed a day earlier that nine places, including Lal Pari and Gandlo, had been cut off from the KKH.

The local police said blockages from the roads had finally been removed, allowing tourists to continue travelling safely.

The GB home department stated that work on opening the blocked portions of the KKH had started early Thursday morning.

They added that the Disaster Management Authority and FWO worked around the clock in challenging weather conditions to restore the Gilgit-Astore Road. All traffic had been restored by the afternoon.

Read Country ‘ill-prepared’ to deal with monsoon rains

Due to the rain and landslides tourists were asked to wait in Chilas till the roads were reopened. Inter-district highways were also opened on an emergency basis.

Additional machinery was sent on Thursday to help speed up the clearance.

Meanwhile, rain has continued in the city intermittently over the past three days, damaging houses and crops. Roads and communication in the region have been severely affected by the severe weather.

The first spell of monsoon lashed most parts of the country earlier in July and sent alarm bells ringing across several areas.

The National Disaster Management Authority’s flood alert stated heavy rains may generate flash floods and trigger landslides in vulnerable areas of Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

 

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