By Maha Mussadaq Published: July 23, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Despite the ongoing spell of monsoon rains throughout the country, signs of massive flooding and serious damage have yet to be reported.
A National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official while speaking to The Express Tribune said that 2mm of rainfall in Peshawar, Balakot and Bannu, 6mm in Cherat and Chitral and 5mm in Upper and Lower Dir were recorded in the past 24 hours.
He added that while these figures were not alarming, scattered thunderstorms and isolated moderate rains were expected in Southern Punjab and parts of North-East Balochistan in the near future.
Pre-monsoon rains began unusually early this year in southern and eastern Sindh in the first week of June, before hitting Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir in the second week, prompting the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD) Flood Forecasting Division to issue flood warnings.
However, NDMA has stated that the upcoming month does not appear to be a reason for concern.
According to Peshawar’s Flood Warning Cell, Kabul River at Warsak and Nowshera reached a high flood level last month.
NDMA said that river flows remain low in the Kabul and Indus rivers and normal in Swat River at Khawazakhela and Amandara. The authority added that district coordination officers at these areas had yet to declare emergencies.
World Food Programme (WPF) Pakistan Spokesperson Amjad Jamal said that the agency was currently helping one million internally displaced peoples, but that no new cases had surfaced since the ongoing rains started. “The rain pattern so far is not alarming, there have been no signs of flash floods reported thus far,” he said.
Last month, protective bunds at villages in Jamat, Dalazak and Garhi Mohkam Shah in Charsadda district were strengthened because of damage caused by diversions in Kabul River.
According to the PMD, 16 people have lost their lives during the pre-monsoon season. Floods in Swat washed away 10 houses, approximately 300 feet from Kalam Road, and six bridges which were causing inconveniences to residents.
A bypass road is also at high risk of being damaged and has been closed off by the local authorities.
Around 400 families have been affected by floods in Peshawar. Last month, 12 houses were swept away in G-B because of high water levels while another 48 residences were left partially damaged in Dalnati Village, Ghizer district.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.