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Pakistan declares monsoon emergency, braces for fresh rain spell

Updated 06 Aug, 2022
<p>People wade through an inundated street after heavy rain near Sindh Assembly in Karachi on July 7. APP/File</p>

People wade through an inundated street after heavy rain near Sindh Assembly in Karachi on July 7. APP/File

<p>Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, along with IT Minister Aminul Haq, speaks with reporters after a meeting held at the Commissioner Office in Karachi on August 1. APP/File</p>

Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, along with IT Minister Aminul Haq, speaks with reporters after a meeting held at the Commissioner Office in Karachi on August 1. APP/File

The federal cabinet has declared a monsoon emergency in view of the fresh spell of heavy rain, which is expected from today (Saturday) to August 9 in the country.

“But now we need to brace for the next round of rain torrents. Starting tomorrow (Saturday),” she said in a series of tweets. “All provinces and district administrations, NDMA and PDMAs need to act now to take as many preventive measures as possible.”

Monsoon currents were continuously penetrating the country likely to become stronger from August 10 (Wednesday), the Met Office said in a statement.

Weather forecast

Weather Areas Expected day
Heavy rainfall and thundershowers Kashmir, Islamabad, northeast Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eastern Balochistan and southeastern Sindh August 6 to 9 with occasional gaps
Heavy rainfall and thundershowers Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and parts of Balochistan August 10 to 13 with occasional gaps

Possible impact

  • Urban flooding in Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, Faisalabad, Lahore and Gujranwala from August 8 to 12
  • Flash flooding in local nullahs of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Shakargarh, Sialkot, Narowal, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Dir, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Bannu and Kashmir from August 8 to 12
  • Urban flooding in Karachi, Thatta, Badin, Hyderabad, Dadu, Jamshoro, Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas from August 11 to 13
  • Flash flooding in Qilla Saifullah, Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Mosa Khel, Sherani, Sibbi, Bolan, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbella, Awaran, Turbat, Panjgur, Pasni, Jiwani, Ormara, Gwadar and hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan
  • Catchment areas of Ravi, Jhelum and Chenab may receive heavy downpours causing the water level to rise significantly
  • Landslides in Kashmir, hilly areas of KP, Galiyat, Murree, Chillas, Diamir, Gilgit, Hunza, Astore, Ghizer and Skardu

552 killed in heaviest rains in decades

The last monsoon spell had pummeled many parts of Pakistan, with at least 552 people – including 207 children, 110 women, and 235 men – so far killed since June 14 when the season started.

“At least 628 people are injured,” showed the NDMA data. “Around 2,445.5km, including 118 bridges, 42 shops, of roads, 47,028 house [37,397 partially, 9,631 fully] and 24,889 amount of livestock were damaged.”

Government agencies and the army have set up aid and relief camps in flood-hit regions and were working to help relocate families and provide food and medicine. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday announced that the federal government would conduct a joint survey with provinces to assess damages caused by floods.

Heirs of victims of flash floods to receive Rs1 million from the federal government which is separate from the funds allocated by provincial governments. As many as Rs500,000 would be given to the injured persons.

The Balochistan government had suspended the deputy commissioner and officials deputed for relief activities in Qilla Saifullah’s Khashnub area after flood-affected people complained that they were not provided food and water in tents.

Wettest July since 1961

National rainfall for the month of July 2022 was largely (more than 181%) above average and stood as the record wettest July since 1961, the Pakistan Meteorological Department said in its monthly climate summary for July.

“Recent rains in Pakistan were 180% heavier than the average downpour,” Zaheeruddin Baber, the Met Office director, told Aaj News last month while quoting data recorded by July 25 (Monday).

The July monthly rainfall alone exceeded the total normal monsoon seasonal rainfall by 26%, the report said, adding that it was excessively above average over Balochistan (more than 450%) and Sindh (more than 308%), both rank as the wettest ever during past 62 years.

“Monthly rainfall was largely above average over Punjab (more than 116%) which stood second as the wettest month, above average over GB (more than 32%) & KP (more than 30%) and nearly average over AJK (less than seven per cent).”

Monthly summary

 The national weather extreme data that was recorded during July 2022. Source PMD
The national weather extreme data that was recorded during July 2022. Source PMD