GLOF poses a serious threat to
people and nature in the high mountains as well as downstream
reduce the risk of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in the SAARC region, a
road map for regional cooperation will soon be in place.
two day SAARC workshop on “GLOF Risk Management in South Asia” concluded in the
capital last week.
roadmap will be developed by the SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC), New
Delhi and will be approved by the concerned SAARC bodies.
has developed a number of roadmaps on different aspects of disaster management
through participatory process involving the member states and experts on
the workshop, Dr. O.P Mishra from the SDMC said the SAARC region has been
making tremendous progress in mitigating GLOF related risks.
to the SDMC, Bhutan is the second country that is vulnerable to GLOF in the
SAARC region after Pakistan.
SAARC region has over 7,683 glacial lakes. Of these, a total of 125 glacial
lakes have been identified as potentially dangerous and pose high risk for
alone has more than 667 glaciers and around 2,674 glacial lakes of which 25
glacial lakes pose high risks for GLOFs.
Bhutan, one of the most dangerous glacial lakes facing a high risk of outburst
flooding is the Thorthormi Lake in Lunana.
of the most significant climate change impact in the Himalayas is the formation
of glacial lakes. As global warming causes glacial to melt more rapidly,
glacial lakes are getting bigger, increasing the risk of GLOF.
A GLOF occurs when a lake
contained by a glacier or a terminal moraine dam fails. This can happen due to
erosion, water pressure, an avalanche of rock or heavy snow, an earthquake or
cryoseism, or if a large enough portion of a glacier breaks off and massively
displaces the waters in a glacial lake at its base.
collapse of Glacier Lake generates huge debris mixed flash flood downstream.
O.P Mishra said the region will be working together on various aspects
including mitigating GLOF risks, developing technical capacity and social
aspects as well as monitoring the initiatives.
two day workshop also highlighted some of the constraints faced by the member
states while implementing such initiatives.
challenges faced by the member states include not having a proper early warning
system in place while dissemination of information has also been a challenge.
include lack of funding mechanism and timely interventions.
South Asia, particularly in the Himalayan region, the frequency of the
occurrence of GLOF events has increased in the second half of the 20th
two day SAARC workshop on GLOF Risk Management in South Asia was jointly
organized by SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC), New Delhi, and Department
of Disaster Management (DDM), Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.