High in the Hindu Kush Himalayas of northern Pakistan, the residents of Hassanabad keep a watch on a wall of black ice almost 700 feet high that perches menacingly above their tiny village.

The 15-kilometer long Shishper glacier, which is melting at an alarming rate and advancing by four meters a day, presents a constant threat of flash floods. Last year, people in the village noticed that the stream near their homes was rising fast. Not long after, a torrent of glacial melt water descended upon Hassanabad, submerging a local power plant, farms, orchards and damaging many homes. The residents of Hassanabad had enough time to flee the deluge.

Mre than half of all South Asians, or 750 million people in eight countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka - have been affected by one or more climate-related disasters in the last two decades. The people of South Asia are living through a "new climate normal", where intensifying heat waves, cyclones, droughts, and floods are testing the limits of governments. - blog.wb.org/blogs

A version of this article appears in the print on November 02, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.