by Nasira & Farasat Ali

Hydro meteorological hazard can be defined as a process of atmospheric, hydrological or oceanographic nature that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. Hydro meteorological hazards include tropical cyclones (also known as typhoons and hurricanes), thunderstorms, hailstorms, tornados, blizzards, heavy snowfall, avalanches, and coastal storm surges, floods including flash floods, drought, heatwaves and cold spells. Hydro meteorological conditions also can be a factor in other hazards such as landslides, wildland fires, locust plagues, epidemics, and in the transport and dispersal of toxic substances and volcanic eruption material.

Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is particularly exposed to hydro-metrological hazards which were identified as priority hazards during the consultative workshop convened in January, 2008 by Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority with collaboration of UNDP. These hydro-metrological hazards have same causative factors and impacts on the communities of GB. Evidences show that the hydro-metrological hazards have increased in GB in the last few decades.

Some important and frequently occurring hazards, identified with help of the communities are flash floods, riverine and glaciers lake outburst floods, snow and windstorms, lightening. Often flash floods trigger secondary hazards like landslides, mud slide, denudation and some time avalanches. These hazards are serious threats to the wide spread communities of GB. The life and critical facilities of the poor communities are highly vulnerable because any high magnitude hydro-metrological hazard can affect their life, socio-economical and environmental setup at any time.

The most recent hydro-metrological events in GB region are floods, drought, soil erosion and secondary hazards like landslides, mudflow and debris falling. During 1999, 2000,2001,2002,2205 and 2006 the hydro-metrological hazards affected almost all districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. The area also faced drought periodically. However worst and most recent drought was during 2000-2003 which affected about half of the population of the area.

UNDP-ECHO realizing the seriousness of the situation, has initiated a project, regional climate risk reduction with collaboration of WWF-Pakistan Gilgit office which is providing implementation support to UNDP Pakistan for this initiative in the most hydro-metrological hazards prone districts of Gilgit – Baltistan, including Gilgit, Astore and Nagar area.

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  1. This is a good initiative but the size and scale should be broden covering most of the valleys.


  2. Dear Farasat and Nasira, thanks for sharing the information. i would like to add that the Regional Climate Risk Reduction Project (RCRRP) is being implemented in four countries in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region viz. Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Project is supported by DIPECHO and is being implemented by Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) through the UNDP Country Offices in each project country. The Project seeks to develop and implement comprehensive risk management strategies in the Himalayan region to reduce the risks faced by mountain communities and to mitigate the impacts of hydro-meteorological/climatic hazards. we would be more than happy to replicate the activities implemented successfully as test pilot under the RCRRP, in other districts and under take them on a larger scale. Let’s hope things start moving in the right direction, as it would be a great contribution to climate risk management in the vulnerable mountain communities.
    Kindly note that detailed project information can be accessed at:

  3. DIPECHO is very forward looking and is focusing on affects of climate change risk management. We request BCPR/RCRRP and DIPECHO to work in partnership with sincere NGO like FOCUS who are working in this area to make communities risiliant to natural disasters.

    1. I fully agree. RCRRP/DIPECHO should partner with good ,ethical and technically sound NGO like FOCUS who work closely with communities and empower the local people in DRR.

  4. Its indeed a very good intitaitve to work on hydro-metrological hazards in Gilgit baltistan. Being geographer and working with a relevant credible organization, I would say that, the whole GBC is very much prone to hydro-metrological hazards, Flash Flood is one of the dominat hazards which has adversely affected the socio-economic condition of the region. in 2010 Floods many flash flood events recorded in GBC, about 104 villaegs in this year badly affected in GBC region. it is notworthy that, Flash flood is more dangerous than any riverine Flood, you have a survial time if tehre is a riverine flood, but in Flash flood you do not have s survial time. therefore there are more chances of human loss than riverine flood, i think all the agnecies which are working in this filed must address this problem to make the comunities more resillient to such hydro-mertological hazards.

  5. Dear madam Nasira & Farasat Ali im the student of disaster managment.our class teacher give me assighment as well as presentation and its to difficult to me can u madams help me n that.i shall be very think ful for this kind of action

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