Intense rainfall expected in Pakistan over next two weeks

Published April 18, 2024
DARK clouds loom over Quetta’s horizon amid forecast for rain in the city and several other districts over the next 24 hours.—PPI
DARK clouds loom over Quetta’s horizon amid forecast for rain in the city and several other districts over the next 24 hours.—PPI

QUETTA/GWADAR/ ISLAMABAD: As the latest projections from the National Emergency Ope­rations Centre (NEOC) and multiple weather models suggest that Pakistan is expected to experience a series of moderate to intense weather systems till April 29, a new spell of torrential rain has entered Balochistan, with rain and thunderstorms lashing many districts, including Quet­­ta, since Wednesday morning.

Additionally, the Pakis­tan Me­­­teorological Dep­artment (PMD) has forecasted rain, wi­­ndstorms, thunderstorms, and a few hailstorms across most pla­­ces of Khyber Pakh­tun­khwa (KP), Gilgit-Bal­tistan (GB), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Is­­lamabad, Punjab, Sindh and Ba­­­lochistan in the next 24 hours.

Since Friday, lightning strikes and other storm-rela­ted incidents have claimed over 60 lives nationwide.

According to the forecast, a weather system is poised to en­­ter Pakistan, leading to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms until April 22. Balochistan will experience the impact from April 17 to April 19, followed by Punjab and Sindh from April 18 to April 19. The effects will ex­­tend to upper Punjab from April 18 to April 21, while KP, GB, and AJK will be affected from April 17 to April 22.

Following this, a weaker weather system is expec­ted to enter Pakistan on April 23, bringing low rainfall and thunderstorms to certain parts of the country until April 24. While Balochistan and upper Punjab will experience slight impacts from April 23 to April 24, KP, GB, and AJK will also be affected. However, Sindh is not expected to be impacted during this period.

 Charsadda: A displaced man waits for assistance outside his tent at a makeshift camp along a major highway after fleeing his flood-hit home following heavy rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on Wednesday. According to NDMA, at least 60 people have died in storm-related incidents across the country in the past week.—AFP
Charsadda: A displaced man waits for assistance outside his tent at a makeshift camp along a major highway after fleeing his flood-hit home following heavy rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on Wednesday. According to NDMA, at least 60 people have died in storm-related incidents across the country in the past week.—AFP

In light of these projections, the National Disaster Management Authority has issued instructions for provincial and district authorities, and other relevant line departments to remain vigilant and prepared to respond to any emergency situations.

Rain disrupts Balochistan

Meanwhile, many areas in rain-affected districts of Balo­chistan remain cut off from Quetta and district headquarters due to washed-out link roads caused by heavy rains, with large numbers of houses were damaged in southern and northern Balochistan.

Heavy rain breached the rai­lway track at the Quetta-Zahe­dan railway section bet­ween Dalban­din and Nokundi, once again suspending goods train service between Pakistan and Iran. Flash floods in the area also affected the Quetta-Taftan highway, disrupting traffic.

Traffic was suspended bet­w­een Harnai-Sanjavi-Ziarat due to badly damaged inter-district roads, leaving residents stra­n­ded without road access to Qu­­etta or other areas. However, officials stated that concerned departments were working to restore traffic between affec­ted districts using heavy machinery.

The new spell of rains severely affected Gwadar and other areas of the Makran region, disrupting normal life as rainwater entered human settlements. Residents, who had recently returned to their homes after dewatering them following previous heavy rains, were forced to flee to safe places.

Maulana Hidayatur Rehman, head of the Haq Du Tehreek and MPA from Gwadar, visited flood-hit areas, directing local administration to launch immediate rescue and relief work.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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