Flash Floods Destroy Concrete Bridge

PakistanThe melt lake caused by high temperatures caused a massive flash flood that destroyed a concrete bridge in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The bridge in the village of Hassanabad in northern Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region was destroyed in a massive flash flood caused by the melting of the glacial lake due to unusually high temperatures over the weekend, Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said today.

Such flash floods occur when glaciers melt at a rapid rate, increasing the amount of water flowing into nearby reservoirs. Reservoirs can suddenly burst, creating violent floods that carry water, rock and ice.

Flash floods collapse bridge in Pakistan

Flood water collapsed a bridge in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan on May 7. Video: AFP.

The video shows the bridge, located on the Karakorum highway linking Pakistan with China, destroyed and collapsed into the river after water violently collided with the bridge piers.

Pakistan’s climate ministry said an unusually hot mid-spring heatwave raged in the country of 220 million people, with temperatures expected to hit 50 degrees Celsius in some areas this week.

Research by environmental group Germanwatch shows that such climate change poses an enormous risk for Pakistan, which ranks eighth on the list of countries most affected by extreme weather.

Pakistan is also home to more than 7,000 glaciers, more than anywhere else outside the polar regions. Minister Rehman warned that the glaciers in the Himalayas and Hindu Kush in the north of the country are melting rapidly.

She said more than 3,000 glacial lakes have formed in Gilgit-Baltistan as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in north-west Pakistan, 33 of which are at risk of rupturing and causing severe flooding.

than tam (Corresponding AFP)