A bridge collapses – level 3
In northern Pakistan, the historic Hassanabad Bridge collapsed on Saturday after a Shipser glacial lake outburst.
The bridge was one of the main bridges on the Karakoram highways, and its collapse stranded thousands of people. The bridge connected northern Pakistan and China, and it was a popular tourist attraction, famous for being one of the world’s highest paved roads.
The glacier lake outburst occurred after an intense heatwave hit Pakistan and neighboring India. The heatwave brought severe wildfires and dangerous air quality. Over the past 20 days, the water volume in the glacier lake increased by 40% as a result of the unusually high temperatures.
The heatwave released the huge amount of water into the stream and surrounding areas in the Hunza Valley.
Pakistan has the highest number of glaciers outside the polar region, and many are losing mass due to high global temperatures. The incident alarmed experts; they said that rising temperatures in the country could lead to more glacial floods.
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