BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: DG meteorological department on Tuesday moderated a discussion organised by Focus Humanitarian Assistance for media in Gilgit.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Ghulam Rasool said at least 36 glacial lakes in various valleys of Gilgit - Baltistan have been declared dangerous while seven of them pose extreme threats for the population.
“These lakes carry the risk of outburst and if it happens, severe damage to lives and property may take place,” said director general Dr Ghulam Rasool who was an official visit to G-B where flashfloods triggered by monsoon rains and glacier melt wreaked havoc with infrastructure in various valleys, causing billions of rupees loss to the people and the government.
The workshop “Disaster awareness and role of media” was attended by about two dozen journalists from print and electronic media.
The DG said Pakistan was among the top 10 worst disaster hit countries of the world and the nature of disaster differs from one part to another.
“Along the cost there is a risk of tsunami, tropical cyclones, heat weaves and drought. In the north flashfloods, GLOF and landslides have become a regular feature,” said the DG, whose organization has established a directorate for weather and climate service in G-B.
According to Dr Rasool, glacial lake outburst phenomena [GLOF] is now ranking as number one disaster in G-B.
He said overall there are more than 7000 glaciers and 3044 glacial lakes in G-B. “The concerned government departments are planning to install community based early warning system [EWS] to save the lives of people and reduce the damage to public.
At present such EWS are working in Bagrote, Bindogul and Golen valleys and communities appreciated the early warnings of GLOF disaster, several hours earlier than the occurrence.
Explaining the performance of Focus, programme manager Dr Nazir said at least 227 winterised tents, 500 food items, 500 blankets and 300 tarpaulins were provided to the families affected by the recent earthquake in G-B. He praised the role of media in highlighting the hardships faced by poeple affected by floods and quakes. He passed on tips on how to cover events during disasters.
The workshops was also addressed by Lal Khan of Fcous introducing terminologies relating to disasters for better reporting.