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Increasing risk of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh

Last Updated on March 21, 2022 at 1:41 pm

Himalayan glaciers are witnessing an increased melting of glaciers at a fast pace leading to an increased risk of Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding (GLOF). 

The receding of Himalayan glaciers at a rapid rate caused by climate change, Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has asked the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to take action to deal with GLOFs in the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

There is risk of floods from glacial lakes in J&K and Ladakh. Parliamentary Standing Committee noticed that Himalayan glaciers are retreating at a rapid rate due to climate change, which can cause of GLOFs.  GLOF is described as when the water levels of glacial lakes breach their boundaries, causing large amounts of water to flow into nearby rivers. 

GLOFs remain a persistent threat to downstream communities and infrastructure besides flora and fauna

Parliamentary Panel recommended that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) should conduct training activities with the locals in the Himalayan region for preparing them to handle and deal with GLOFs in terms of setting up of emergency shelters, distributing relief packages etc.

It is pertinent to mention that Uttarakhand dealt with the GLOFs by implementation of Satellite-based Mountain Hazard Assessment and Monitoring (MHAM), mapping and monitoring of glaciers and glacial lakes, coordination with Central Water Commission (CWC) for establishing an Early Warning System (EWS), thus Parliamentary Panel recommended that MHA along with the NDMA should start these measures in J&K and Ladakh also.