GLOF-(chatibo), a recurring threat to high land settlements of Chitral.

.. by Prof R.K Baig

Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods, a name that was coined in the backdrop of climate change across the globe and one of the affectees of this dynamic in the glacial zones of Hindu Kush in Chitral that has been receiving this deadly flow of mud and boulder flood in the higher valleys where the rising temperatures in summer trigger this flood. Up in the glacial zones of Chitral there are deep lakes inside glaciers in the floors of the valleys that continue to fill year by year and once they are full to the brim or the bottom of the lake fails to support the pressure of the water, it bursts open and releases a colossal amount of water at great height with great speed that washes away the rocks and debris of years on both banks of the river , forming an unimaginable disastrous flood and when it hits the rivers in the bottom of the valleys the sediment settles in the river bed and the water level rises to a great height that hits the sides of the slopes and brings down more debris into the river and the river thus loses its original bed and meanders left and right and cuts crops, trees, houses, and the like making people homeless.

This had fist, more than 20 years ago hit Warimoon village in the Terich valley. The one hit the village houses and cultivations , the second one in the Noghor gol and the third one in the ISHPERU gol of Terich valley, flooded and rose the volume of the river that hit the main valley. In the following years GLOF hit Sonoghur and destroyed fertile lands and precious fruits trees followed by Booni gol GLOF disaster. Then it hit Unawich village in the upper Yarkhun valley and destroyed the only bridge that connected it with the rest of the villages. Thus GLOFS hit various parts of Chitral due to rise in temperature.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority is requested to take measures to see where and what type of disaster is impending and how to give warning to local authorities to cope with the situation before it actually occurs. FOCUS is also active in Chitral and helps the victims of such calamities but the main task is to be dealt with by PDMA and it must set an office in Chitral with full relevant gadgets and staff. So far we have not heard about the presence or activities of PDMA in this field to create awareness among the vulnerable valleys of this district. One must focus on the risk/ red zones and before that the red zones must be identified with the help of local people based on indigenous knowledge.For further info contact this writer.s .. Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 29 Jun 2018

One thought on “GLOF-(chatibo), a recurring threat to high land settlements of Chitral.

  1. Professor R.K.Baig has rightly pointed out the disaster risks of the GLOF phenomena that is affecting all the mountains in the north of Pakistan. Chitral appears to have been hit the most. For the additional information of the learned writer the District Disaster Management Authority exists with competent leadership but the problem is always with the availability of financial resources. When the disasters play havoc, we start making hue and cry for resources. It is the responsibility of the higher echelons such as the PDMA and the NDMA to make sufficient resources available for the DDMA. to act timely and effectively. As the disaster warning is imminent we should hope the authorities have already made sufficient arrangement to meet any eventuality this time around. It may be noted that two pronged strategy is required one is to effectively respond to emergency situation and second is a long term planning to minimize disaster risks. We expect our worthy agencies to ready to meet the challenge.

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