PM Shehbaz Sharif orders emergency steps to deal with Hunza glacial flooding

PM Shehbaz Sharif directs authorities concerned to ensure the safe transfer of people from flood-affected areas

Shahbaz Shareef elected as 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan
PM Shehbaz Sharif orders emergency steps to deal with Hunza glacial flooding
  • PM Shehbaz Sharif has directed concerned agencies to ensure the safe evacuation of flood victims.
  • Wants a report on glacial flooding damages and victims.
  • Orders putting up alternative road due to destruction of the Hassanabad bridge.

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday directed concerned authorities to take immediate action to address the situation caused by flooding in the lake above Hunza’s Shisper Glacier.

A major glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) swept through Hassanabad village in Hunza district on Saturday, destroying the Hassanabad bridge on the Karakoram Highway.

With the collapse of the Hassanabad bridge, the flood impacted the drinking and agricultural water systems, as well as two power plants. As a result, one section of the Shahrah-e-Karakoram has been damaged.

PM Shehbaz Sharif has asked the relevant authorities to guarantee the safe evacuation of flood victims. He also instructed federal agencies to effectively support the Gilgil Baltistan government in supplying food, medicines, and other requirements to the affected people.

Following the destruction of the Hassanabad bridge on the Karakoram Highway, the prime minister ordered a report on the damages as well as a list of those affected by glacial flooding. He also ordered the construction of a temporary bridge to enable people to commute.

PM Shehbaz also directed the authorities to prepare an estimate of the damages to the irrigation and drinking water systems, as well as the power plants, and to restore the 700 and 250 megawatt power plants on a war footing.

He announced that the government will pay for the restoration and repair of the power plants.

PM Shehbaz extended his condolences to the bereaved families and directed that immediate aid be provided.

Hassanabad Bridge was built under CPEC, connecting the Hunza Valley to Pakistan, and damaged due to massive Glacial Lake Outburst Flood on May 7, 2022. 

Premature melting caused the Shisper Glacier to release 5,000 cubic metres of water, cutting off Hunza and Gilgit.

According to Hunza Deputy Commissioner Usman Ali, the water flow had been curtailed by Sunday morning.

According to the official, a temporary bridge would be installed once the lake has completely drained.

Ali said that a jamaat khana had been partially damaged by the flooding, and that the drinking and agricultural water systems had been damaged.

He went on to say that 22 houses have been demolished and that small vehicles are being taken via Sharah e Nagar.

Meanwhile, Qamar Zaman Kaira, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, spoke over the phone with the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Secretary. Kaira was briefed about the Hassanabad bridge collapse in Hunza by the GB chief secretary.

Kaira issued orders to make all required measures and stated that land connectivity and normal life in the surrounding areas should be restored as soon as possible.

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