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July 14, 2020

Flood caused by glacier burst wreaks havoc in Chitral

National

July 14, 2020

CHITRAL: The flashflood triggered by a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) swept away several buildings, including homes, mosques, irrigation and the water supply system and a powerhouse and destroyed standing crops in the Golen Gol valley of Lower Chitral district on Monday.

Also, the flood left residents of over 500 homes stranded in the hills as they washed away four suspension bridges and three kilometres of the lone road linking it to Booni Road, cutting off the Golen valley from the rest of the area.

According to details, the flood occurred after a glacier exploded in Golen valley, some 20 kilometres away from the Lower Chitral district headquarters following rain at 8 am. A 108-megawatt powerhouse in the valley was also shut down after the flooddamaged it besides destroying irrigation and water supply system in Mori Paiyeen, Barghozi and Kojo.

Crops and vegetables were also destroyed in the floods, causing huge losses to the growers in the area. It may be mentioned that officials of the Met Department and UNDP GLOF project had issued warning on June 19 last about the possible glacial outburst in the area.

Last year in July, flashfloods left at least 70 people stranded after Jam Ashpar glacier burst overnight. The floods had wreaked havoc, taking down houses, livestock and roads. In 2015, a similar incident killed at least three people and caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure and affected more than a a quarter of a million in Chitral.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Minorities, Wazirzada visited the road destroyed by the floods in Koghozi and Mashlake. He assured the stranded people that rescue operation would be expedited to save precious lives and properties of the people.

Meanwhile, Manzoor Ahmad of the Met Department and Syed Naveed Shah of the UNDP GLOF project predicted that more glaciers could burst and cause floods if the prevailing heatwave continued in the area.