Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) is installing 50 automated weather stations (AWS) at different locations of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) to collect real-time data of glacial meltdowns causing flash floods.
The installation is part of a joint venture between PMD and GB Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), sponsored by The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) project.
The 37 million dollar project, approved after the formation of Hassan Abad glacial lake in July 2019, will not only forecast weather but also share live data of glacial movements and generate life-saving warnings beforehand to enable authorities to take appropriate action.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, said that the installation of AWS would enable PMD to better monitor, plan, and coordinate for any climate change-induced disasters.
Pakistan hosts over 7,200 glaciers at over 17,000 square kilometers in its North, which is home to the mighty Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya (HKH) mountain ranges.
These glaciers have more ice than anywhere on earth, barring the polar region, and are often referred to as the third pole. They feed Pakistan’s rivers and are responsible for around 75 percent of the stored water supply in the country.