RAWALPINDI: Sindh and eastern parts of Balochistan are set to receive a fresh spell of monsoon rain on July 8-9, while upper and central parts of the country, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad, from July 10 to 15, says a forecast issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Depart­ment (PMD) on Monday.

Against this backdrop, the Disaster Response Committee (DRC), constituted by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, at a maiden session in Islamabad discussed a range of issues, including the current state of preparedness, resource allocation, early warning systems, and community engagement strategies.

The Met office said strong mon­soon currents from the Ara­bian Sea and the Bay of Bengal are likely to penetrate upper parts of the country from July 10.

Under the influence of this system, rain and wind/thundersho­wers, with isolated heavy falls, are expected in Azad Kashmir from July 10 to 16 with occasional gaps.

Karachi, other cities of Sindh, Balochistan set to receive rain today; showers expected in Lahore, Islamabad, other places from 10th

Similar weather was forecast for Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Mur­ree, Galliyat, Attock, Chakwal, Tala Gang, Jhelum, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Wazirabad, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Narowal, Sahiwal, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Nankana Sahib, Chiniot, Faisalabad, Okara, Pakpattan, Kasur, Khushab, Sargodha, Bhakkar and Mianwali from evening or night of July 10 to July 15.

Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, D.G. Khan, Multan, Khanewal, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Rahimyar Khan and Layyah are expected to experience the similar weather from July 12 to 14.

Rain and wind/thundershower with isolated heavy falls are expected in Dir, Chitral, Swat, Kohistan, Malakand, Bajaur, Shangla, Battagram, Buner, Kohat, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Hangu, Kurram, Waziristan, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan from July 11 to 15.

In most districts of Balochistan, mainly hot and humid weather is expected. However, rain and wind/thundershower are expected in Khuzdar, Kalat, Ziarat, Zhob, Barkhan, Musa Khel and Shirani districts on July 9, and from July 12 to 14.

In Sindh, mainly hot and very humid weather is expected in most districts. However, rain and wind/thundershower are expected in Jacobabad, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Qamber Shahdadkot, Larkana, Dadu, Padidan, Umarkot, Tharparkar, Mirpur Khas, Badin, Sajawal, Thatta and Karachi on July 9, with occasional gaps. While rain-wind/thunderstorm is also expected in Sukkur, Larkana and Jacobabad on July 12-13.

Gilgit-Baltistan is expected to experience mainly a partly cloudy to cloudy weather at times. However, rainfall is also expected in Diamer, Astore, Skardu, Gilgit, Ghanche, Shigar from July 11 to 15 with occasional gaps.

Urban flooding

The PMD warned heavy fall may increase inflows in the nullahs/streams of Murree, Galliyat, Manshera, Kohistan and Azad Kashmir between July 12 and 14, adding that heavy fall may cause urban flooding in low-lying areas in northeastern parts of Punjab.

Landslides may disrupt roads in hilly areas of KP, Murree, Galliyat, Azad Kashmir and GB.

The advisory said downpour/windstorm and lightning may affect daily routines, weak structures, electric poles, hoardings, vehicles and solar panels etc during the period.

The PMD advised farmers to manage their activities keeping in view the weather forecast. Travellers and tourists were advised to remain extra cautious and manage their travelling according to weather conditions and avoid any untoward situation during the wet spell.

Responsive steps discussed

The first meeting of the Disaster Response Committee was held at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) headquarters in Islamabad, APP adds.

The committee, established by the prime minister, reviewed contingency plans, including inter-agency communication, conducting joint training exercises and deploying resources to vulnerable regions to ensure a swift and coordinated response.

NDMA chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik briefed the meeting on the projection by the NDMA’s NEOC about the monsoon season.

“As we approach the monsoon season, it is imperative that we are well-prepared to address any potential emergency,” he said and underlined the significance of reviewing stock positions for monsoon contingencies which was essential to undertake tangible actions before disasters strike.

Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhry, who is also convener of the committee, emphasised the importance of a cohesive and integrated approach to disaster management.

While chairing the meeting, he highlighted the need for robust coordination among all relevant stakeholders, including federal and provincial authorities, to ensure timely and effective response to any emergencies that may arise during the monsoon season.

The minister instructed provincial governments to establish shelter spaces for livestock and take stern actions against encroachments to mitigate threat of urban flooding.

He directed PDMAs to prepare standardised response plans for effective disaster management.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2024

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