ISLAMABAD: The Met Office has warned of above average monsoon rains in the upcoming season that may trigger flash floods across the country, especially along the Sulaiman Range.
The Sulaiman mountain range is a southern extension of the Hindu Kush Range and runs across Pakistan from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through Balochistan along the borders of south-western Punjab and Sindh.
On Thursday, the Pakistan Meteorological Department said this monsoon season would result in 10% to 20% more precipitation than previous years.
PMD Director-General Dr Ghulam Rasul told The Express Tribune the southern Sindh region was expected to receive heavy rainfall during the monsoon.
“While this system will put an end to the long-running drought in Tharparkar, the rains will cause flooding in major urban centres,” he warned.
He added the monsoon season was expected to start in July this year but it was “too early to tell the exact week”.
The Met Office has also predicted above normal rainfall in Punjab, K-P, Sindh, Azad Kashmir and northeast Balochistan. Extreme showers are also likely in catchment areas of major rivers. Strong incursions of monsoon currents, coupled with high temperature, may trigger glacial lake outbursts, landslides and flash floods in upper K-P and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also organised a pre-monsoon 2016 preparedness conference.
NDMA spokesperson Ahmed Kamal told The Express Tribune that based on the PMD forecast and lessons learnt from the recent past, the authority had directed all provincial departments to complete preventive measures before June 30 to avoid the loss of life and property.
Since 2010, Pakistan has been struggling to cope with monsoon rains and the subsequent floods. The authorities have also failed to finalise the 10-year National Flood Protection Plan to cope with the natural calamity before time.
A Met Office official, who did not want to be named, said the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) had formulated the plan through World Bank funding but was still being worked on.
The draft of the plan was tabled before the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for approval but some of the provinces refused to accept it, claiming the plan was chalked out without consulting them, he said.
He added a few changes suggested by the concerned provinces were incorporated but the draft of the plan was still awaiting approval.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2016.