The historic Hassanabad bridge in Pakistan collapsed on Saturday after a heatwave caused a glacial lake to release large amounts of water into a stream. According to the Independent, the bridge in the Gilgit-Baltistan region was swept by gushing floodwaters, stranding thousands of locals and tourists. No immediate injuries were reported.
A video shared by Pakistan’s Federal Minister Climate Change and Senator Sherry Rehman shows the dramatic visuals of the bridge crumbling and falling away as water levels rise. In the caption, Ms Rehman informed that the bridge on the Karakoram Highway collapsed due to the melting Shishper glacier located near Mount Shishper in the northern part of Pakistan.
A few days ago @ClimateChangePK had warned that Pakistan’s vulnerability is high due to high temps. Hassanabad bridge on the KKH collapsed due to GLOF from the melting Shisper glacier which caused erosion under pillars. Am told FWO will have a temporary bridge up in 48 hours. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Sjl9QIMI0G
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) May 7, 2022
The video showed torrents of water slamming against the concrete of the historic bridge, leading to the collapse. Independent reported that after the incident, the local police diverted the traffic to an alternate route and barred heavy transport vehicles.
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Moreover, officials also reportedly informed that the glacial floods even swept away two hydropower projects, submerged houses, agricultural land and water supply channels. Now, the local authorities have said that a temporary bridge would be installed soon in order to restore traffic movement.
Meanwhile, it is to mention that this year Pakistan has recorded its hottest April in decades with Jacobabad touching 49 celsius. In her Twitter thread, Ms Rehman has even warned that several areas in Pakistan are vulnerable to the rising heat. “Pakistan has the highest number of glaciers outside the polar region and many are losing mass due to high global temperatures,” she wrote on social media, adding that global leaders need to reduce emissions.