PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has issued an advisory warning the administrations of nine districts in the province about the vulnerability of people’s lives, property, crops, and infrastructure to glacial lake outburst floods (Glofs).

It asked them to regularly monitor glaciers in their respective areas, including Upper and Lower Chitral, Swat, Upper and Lower Dir, Upper and Lower Kohistan, Mansehra, and Kurram districts.

“Since the global climate change phenomenon is real, there is a high risk posed by these glaciers in the event of Glofs, which may cause damage to lives, property, crops, infrastructure, and livelihoods. It is of paramount importance that these glaciers be regularly monitored by field staff through close coordination with local communities to report any event with reference to glacial lake formation, glacier rapid melting, glacial advances, Glofs or any hazard related to Glofs and glaciers,” the PDMA said in the advisory.

It said that the Pakistan Meteorological Department had intimated it about the possibility of another weather system hitting the country between April 23 and April 29.

Warns public life, property, infrastructure vulnerable to Glofs in nine cities

The PDMA said it was imperative to regularly monitor glaciers in those districts through field staff.

It said an advisory shared with it by the National Disaster Management Authority declared that in light of the forthcoming weather system, temperature gradients across the country could cause strong winds, dust storms, thunderstorms, and hailstorms.

“The increased temperature and rainfall in northern Pakistan, especially in mountainous areas of KP, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, may lead to avalanches in at-risk, vulnerable snowbound valleys,” it said.

The disaster management body said that in light of increased temperatures across the northern part of the country, there was a risk of Glof incidents in the vulnerable valleys of KP, GB, and AJK.

“Increased rainfall in the northern half of Pakistan and Balochistan, including districts of KP, northern and central Punjab, GB and AJK may lead to flash flooding and landslides in vulnerable and at-risk mountainous and hilly areas,” it said.

The PDMA said irrigation water would be required at regular intervals for season vegetables and newly-sown kharif crops.

During the last three days, rains battered the province killing 36 people, injuring scores and damaging standing crops.

They also played havoc with the infrastructure leading to the suspension of traffic in several districts.

EARLY HELP ORDERED: On the orders of Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, a process has been “geared up” to provide financial assistance to the families of the people, who lost lives in various rain-related incidents, according to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

It said that Rs50 million had been released by the PDMA as financial assistance to the heirs of the deceased in various districts.

The CM’s Secretariat said that Rs20 million had been released for Nowshera district, Rs5 million for Lower Dir, Rs3 million each for Swat and Malakand, Rs2 million each for Upper Dir and Tank, and Rs1 million each had been released for Lower Chitral, Battagram, Karak, Peshawar, and Charsadda.

It added that Rs10 million had also been released for general relief in Lower Chitral.

Expressing satisfaction with the steps taken by the PDMA and other relevant departments in providing relief to the rain-affected families, the chief minister said the provincial government would not leave the victims of natural calamities alone.

“Providing immediate relief to them is the first priority of the provincial government, and all available resources are being utilised for this purpose,” he said.

The CM directed authorities to carefully assess the damages in all affected districts and ensure that all the victims are provided with relief and assistance.

He ordered speedy work on the rehabilitation of rain-hit infrastructure and said the issues faced by people could be resolved as soon as possible and they could return to their normal lives.

“Nothing can replace a human life. However, the provincial government not only equally shares the grief of the bereaved families, but it is also going all-out to provide them relief and assistance,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...