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March 5, 2021

No glacial lake outburst in Kaghan valley, says official

Peshawar

March 5, 2021

PESHAWAR: Provincial Project Coordinator for Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF-II) Fahad Bashir Bangash said on Thursday that no glacial lake had recently burst in Larri Kaghan area of Balakot, Mansehra district.

He said this in response to the recent climatic event in Balakot. Bangash stated that it was not a glacial outburst, but it was an avalanche causing no loss to the local people or their properties.

Officials of the district administration visited the site after a video of the avalanche went viral on social media and reached a conclusion that it was not a GLOF.

“It is submitted that this was not a fatal incident and it is a routine natural phenomenon in these areas. These avalanches are common in February and March,” reads an official report of the district administration.

The officials in the Meteorological Department office at Peshawar also verified that the occurrence of such avalanches were common in these areas during rains.

They said that rainwater also takes away the snow in the watercourses, causing no damages to the lives and properties of the locals.

They reiterated that glacial lake outburst floods are destructive events carrying alongside big boulders of the snow and mountains, destroying lives and infrastructures coming in its way. However, they said, the current scenario is of an avalanche, causing no damages.

Bangash said that GLOF-II Project, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Climate Change and UNDP, is

working on empowering communities to identify and manage the risks associated with GLOFs and other related impacts of climate change and strengthen public service systems to lower the risk of GLOF related disasters.

Out of 7,000 glaciers in the country, over 5,000 are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, putting the communities at direct risk.