Glaciers Lake outburst flooding (GLOF) in Pakistan

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

When the glaciers start to melt on irregular patterns due to the increase in temperature or global warming, the flash melting water finds its way to lakes and other water bodies. This causes the lake to outburst because of sudden excessive water. This process is called Glacier Lake outburst flooding (GLOF). GLOF commonly happens in hilly and mountainous areas such as northern areas in Pakistan.

GLOF in Pakistan
Glaciers lake outburst flooding

It becomes a serious hazard when huge masses of glaciers are melted swiftly and rapidly. This causes the people to be displaced in search of a safe location which seriously affects their livelihood and left lives at Risk. According to an estimated, around 7.1 million people are at risk in the areas like Gilgit-Baltistan and KP. Therefore, the vulnerability it creates is massive which could endanger lives and property at risk.

glof in Pakistan
GLOF in Pakistan

Risk and disaster management practices become essential for protection. As global warming is a formidable issue, and cannot be solved immediately and individually, lake flooding would remain a common threat in the future. However, adopting correct policy measures and inclusion of all stakeholders for mitigating the effects post-GLOF in advance is necessary. Recently, the United nation development program (UNDP) has engaged with the government for formulating a plan and community awareness. GLOF-2 project, which is the continuation of GLOF-1, has been launched for risk and vulnerability mitigation.