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18 February 2020

Glaciers melting: flooding cause major damage in GB

Heavy flooding has been reported from regions of Gilgit-Baltistan due to major glacier melting in the Himalayas. The scorching heat has irked rivers and streams to overflow. Low-lying areas are facing major floods and land erosions. Areas with few if any levees are facing havoc – mainly in Ghizar, Skardu and Ghanche.

Flash flood hit Single Nala in Ghizar distinct of GB, causing major blow to infrastructure, standing crops, livestock and hundreds of fruit trees. The main power station has been damaged causing blackouts in Gahkuch, the district headquarters of Ghizar.

Reports also confirmed floods in Yasin Valley. In Sandhi, 5 families have been shifted to temporary camps. Areas along Asumber and Qorqolhti river are facing heavy land erosions. A connecting river at the confluence of Asumber and Qorqolhti rivers has been washed out. Dalsandhi and Shaman are currently cut-off from the rest of the valley. Ismaili Council and Focus Humantarian has visited the area to assess the magnitude of damage to extend any possible help.

Flash flood also hit Dalnati area of Ghizar, damaging properties and leaving people run for their safety. There was a heavy flood in Kargha Nala. A bridge at Basin has suspended bus service between Ghizar and the rest of the country. Passenger automobile is still running in the face of the hanging bridge — passengers have to walk across, leaving the driver to risk his life.

Flood has spread mass destruction in district Skardu and Ghanche. Khaplu,Thaly, Sadpara, Hotu, Shigartasar, Kharmang, Balghar, Lodas and are badly effected. Roads, standing crops, water channels, trees and dozens of houses have been destroyed. River erosion continues as of now.

People of affected area are attempting to help each other as the government officials are slow to respond in emergency situations like this. In some areas affected people are protesting against apathy of government officials.

Asim Iqbal has contributed to this story from Gilgit-Baltistan
Photo Credits: 
Qasim Shaki © 2013, Sandhi, Yasin