During Pakistan’s heatwave, water from melting glaciers causes the collapse of Hassanabad bridge

In Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region, the historic Hassanabad Bridge was destroyed by floodwater from a glacial lake on Saturday. Near Mount Shishpar in northern Pakistan, floodwaters from the Shishper glacier destroyed the bridge which stood on the Karakoram Highway.

There are reports that the glacier is melting due to the heat, causing a rise in water levels and flooding.

Sherry Rehman, the Pakistani federal minister responsible for climate change, has shared a video showing the bridge crumbling as water levels rise. People standing nearby are asked to leave as the bridge is swept away.

“A few days ago, the Ministry of Climate Change said Pakistan was vulnerable to high temperatures. A glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) caused erosion under the pillars of the Hassanabad Bridge on the KKH, which caused the bridge to collapse. I was told that FWO would have a temporary bridge up in 48 hours.”

In another tweet, she said, “At the same time, many such areas up in the north, especially GB, KP, are vulnerable. We need global leaders to reduce emissions, walk the talk, as Pakistan has the largest number of glaciers outside of the polar region. Many glaciers are losing mass as a consequence of rising global temperatures.”

Thousands of locals and tourists have been stranded by the floods in the region.