ISLAMABAD, Sept 9: As many as 69 individuals have been killed, 62 injured and 6,968 buildings damaged due to heavy and extensive rainfall all over the country. Rain will continue in most parts of the country till September 11.
This was revealed during a news conference organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Sunday. Chairman NDMA Dr Zafar Qadir, Director General (DG) Pakistan Meteorological Department Arif Mehmood and Brigadier Sajid Naeem from the NDMA participated.
The media was informed that 31 individuals have been killed and 30 injured in Azad Kashmir since August 22.
23 people have been killed and 22 injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), as well as 4 fatalities in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan each, and 3 in Islamabad.
Brig Sajid said that 1,624 buildings have been damaged and 5,344 partially damaged.
In KPK 4,175 buildings were partially damaged and 83 fully damaged. In AJK 1,017 have been damaged partially and 226 were damaged fully, he continued.
Chairman NDMA said that we are facing heavy and extensive rain which will continue for the next 24 hours, after which there will be scattered rain in the northern areas of the country.
He said that in AJK and KPK, most individuals were killed due to demolished houses, or they were in the nullahs when the flow of water suddenly increased. Some died because water was flowing over bridges as they tried to cross them.
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Balochistan, around 800 homes have been damaged and one woman along with two children killed by flash floods in Qila Saifulla.
Rains were unexpected in that region during the monsoon season, he added.
In Punjab, three breaches in the canal system in the vicinity of Rahim Yar Khan were reported. Two of them have been plugged.
The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is preparing a river telemetry proposal for Punjab hill torrent areas, which shall be forwarded to the provincial government for funding, he said.
DG Meteorological Department Arif Mehmood said that 43 per cent lower rainfall has been recorded this year during the month of July, but heavy rain began during Eidul Fitr holidays.
454 mm of rainfall was recorded in Muzaffarabad this August which is unusual since August rainfall does not exceed 250mm.
During the last 24 hours, 177mm of rainfall has been recorded in Khanpur. He said that while rainfall is beneficial to most crops, it can adversely affect cotton.
He added that it was not possible to predict the weather for next three months, so metrological departments around the world can only give their best guess. However the Met Office can predict the weather of the next five to six days.
Dr Zafar said that Tarbela Dam has almost reached its highest level. The maximum level of Tarbela Dam is 1,250 feet and on Sunday the water level in the dam was over 1,247 feet.
As far as Mangla Dam is concerned, it is expected that the water level will reach 1,200 feet as it was at 1,188 feet on Sunday.
He said that flow of water in rivers is normal everywhere, except in urban areas like Hyderabad and Karachi where there may be floods due to sewerage problems.
He said that NDMA is prepared to provide aid for 29 million people but it seems the situation will be under control in most of the areas of country. However, 800 tents have been provided to Balochistan and 500 to KPK district administrations.
The federal government has also provided 5,000 tents which will be supplied to provincial governments’ in case of an emergency.