The Washington PostThe Washington Post

As glaciers melt, sudden flood risks threaten 15 million people, study finds

By Kasha Patel

07 Feb 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Research has found that millions of people in China, Pakistan, India and Peru are at risk of life threatening flooding - as a result of climate change. The Washington Post breaks down the report.

The Shishpar glacier in northern Pakistan started rapidly thawing during a record heat wave last spring. The melted snow and ice flowed into a nearby ice-dammed lake until water levels grew too high, triggering a large flash flood that wiped out a key bridge and battered a downstream village.

This is not a unique event. Across the world's iciest regions, communities live with the looming threat of inland tsunamis - massive walls of water moving quickly and forcefully from melting glaciers, known as glacial lake outburst floods.

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