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Snowfall in Gojal Valley

Heavy snow disrupts life in G-B

GILGIT: Life in the many areas of GB came to a standstill following heavy snowfall in the region.  In Gilgit, a weather alert has been issued forecasting heavy rain and snowfall.

The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) region is facing the brunt of climate change and is considered to be one of the worst affected regions in the country owing to fluctuating changes in the weather.

The recent weather-alert, forecasting heavy rains and snowfall in the mountainous G-B region is but an extreme example of the havoc being wreaked in the area.

The warning is said to be vital in the backdrop of destruction caused by floods and landslides in this region over the past
seven years.

“There are extreme weather changes shaping up which may trigger landslides and flooding during the next three days,” read a statement issued by the deputy commissioner’s office on Wednesday.

“People are advised against travelling in areas vulnerable to landslides.”

According to the statement, people must stay away from lakes and nullahs to avoid loss in a region which environmentalists call a “ticking bomb” for being prone to various disasters.

Specifically mentioning Haramosh and Bagrote valleys, which is surrounded by 13 glacial lakes, the weather alert asked people to shift to safer places from the vulnerable areas.

Gilgit Deputy Commissioner Hamza Salick asked concerned departments to remain on high alert to avoid emergencies.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall paralysed life in Astore and Naltar valleys besides blocking roads amidst subzero temperatures.

According to reports, landslides triggered by rains also blocked Karakoram Highway.

The air link between Gilgit, Skardu and Islamabad is already suspended for the last some days.

WWF G-B chief Dr Babar Khan while talking to The Express Tribune recently said there are 7,000 glaciers in the Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karakoram ranges and climate change formed another 2,500 lakes around them.

“Of these 2,500 lakes, 52 are highly dangerous and may pose serious threats to the population downstream in case of a slight tremor,” he said.

via ET

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