17 glaciers of Chitral to be inspected by DMAs

PESHAWAR: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) have decided to carry out physical inspection of at least 17 potentially dangerous glaciers of Chitral district soon.

Talking to reporters at the cabinet room of the Civil Secretariat, NDMA chairman Lieutenant General Mohammad Afzal said the relevant federal and provincial authorities were alert about the melting of glaciers in Chitral.

He said the NDMA and PDMA had agreed on joint physical inspection of at least 17 potentially dangerous glaciers located in Chitral.

Accompanied by secretary of the relief, settlement and rehabilitation department Mohammad Abid Majeed and PDMA director general Pervez Khan, General Afzal said a team would go to Chitral by helicopter at the end of the current week or early next week to check all identified points.

NDMA chairman says early warning system will help minimise losses.

“We will decide whether precautionary measures need to be taken and the issue cannot be tackled with precautions alone,” he said.

Regarding glacial lake outburst floods (glofs), the NDMA chairman said the authority was aware of the situation in Golain but that phenomenon could not be stopped or reversed.

“You have to create early warning system to minimise losses and take steps so that such events do not take place in future,” he said.

General Afzal said he and the chief minister agreed during a meeting that a component of the Billion Tree Tsunami afforestation programme would be implemented in Chitral to minimise the impact of climate change.

He said the plantation would bear results in 10 to 20 years period.

“We are working on a comprehensive disaster response concept by bringing together all institutions working on disaster for prevention, mitigation and relief and rehabilitation after any mishap,” he said.

General Afzal said there were also plans to upgrade the National Institute of Disaster Management as a university, while the Pakistan Disaster Management Council was also on the cards.