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Rain system rapidly weakening

September 11, 2012


LAHORE, Sept 11: The monsoon low pressure is rapidly weakening over Sindh after causing devastating rain for three days and inflicting heavy losses of life and property in the province and adjoining areas of Balochistan and Punjab.

Several more people died in the regions in rain-related incidents on Tuesday.

“The system over Sindh is quickly weakening and is likely to dissipate over the next 24 hours,” the meteorological department announced.

It nevertheless said the system would produce some more scattered thunderstorm and rain with heavy falls at isolated places in Sindh, eastern Balochistan and Bahawalpur, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions before dissipating.

Isolated thunderstorm and rain are expected in upper Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The five-day spell that began late last week produced unprecedented rains in south Punjab, Sindh and eastern Balochistan which earlier were facing a threat of drought because of dry weather in the monsoon season.

The situation is reversed now because there has been much more than average rainfall at some places in the three low monsoon rain regions.

The most affected area is Jacobabad which received 481mm of rain. Its average rainfall for September is just 11mm.

Khanpur has received 291mm of rain, Rahim Yar Khan 236mm, Larkana 215mm, Sukkur 206mm, Shorkot 152mm, Chhor 137mm, Multan 136mm, Toba Tek Singh 130mm, Mithi 121mm, Dera Ghazi Khan 120mm, Badin 108mm, Sahiwal 107mm, Okara 103mm and Hyderabad and Dadu 90mm.

On Tuesday, Nawabshah received 47mm of rain, Larkana 24mm, Rohri 22mm, Moenjodero 18mm, Mithi 16mm, Dir 13mm, Badin 11mm, Karachi airport 7mm, Sibi 6mm, Hyderabad 5mm, Kalat and Lasbela 4mm, Padidan 3mm, Zhob 2mm and Samungli and Muzaffarabad 1mm each.

Iftikhar A. Khan adds from Islamabad: With the monsoon spell set to phase out, the government said there was no threat of massive floods in any part of the country.

Addressing a press conference along with the chiefs of the meteorological department and the National Disaster Management Authority, Climate Change Minister Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan said that although the monsoon had brought intense rains in different areas, there was no major threat because the spell was phasing out.

He praised the Pakistan Meteorological Department for forecasting the recent spell of rains, making it possible for provincial government departments to take timely measures to minimise losses.

He said that although half of Dera Ghazi Khan was under water there was no danger to sensitive nuclear installations in the area.

He said the disaster management authorities at the national, provincial and district levels were coping with the post-rain situation.

Talking to Dawn, NDMA Chairman Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir said 100 people had been reported to have died and 77 injured in rain-related incidents across the country. Damage to 8,661 houses had been reported, most of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said breaches in canals in rain-hit districts of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had flooded agricultural land and urban areas.

Troops have plugged several breaches and are working in other areas.

The rainwater which had flooded various urban areas would retreat in seven to 10 days, the NDMA chief said.

CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY: Mahmood Alam, Secretary of Climate Change Ministry, said a national policy had been prepared to cope with changing harsh weather patterns and their impact.

“I hope the ‘roadmap’ climate change policy which focuses on mitigation and adaptation will be approved by the cabinet soon.”

He said Pakistan accounted for a little over 0.5 per cent of the global carbon emissions but was among top 10 countries highly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

He said extreme weather events such as heavy rains, droughts and floods were becoming increasingly frequent because of deepening impact of global warming on the country.

The secretary said rising sea level was another threat that was eating away fertile land in coastal areas and damaging underground water resources.