LAHORE - Although disaster management authorities have been claiming to have braced for possible flash flooding, no infrastructure betterment has been seen for the last year.

The departments concerned have been issuing press releases about their monsoon plans without telling how exactly they would cope with the looming trouble giving the existing dilapidated drainage systems and related infrastructure.

The monsoon rain has caused rivers to burst their banks, destroying thousands of mudbrick houses and causing buildings to collapse. Hundreds of people were killed –drowned, crushed or electrocuted – in the worst floods in the country for 80 years.

The media showed striking images of people clinging to fences and other stationary items as water at times gushed over their heads and authorities kept harping on “doing-well” mantra. The army was called in to rescue survivors and foreigners aided the relief operation in devastated areas. Sindh, Balochistan, KP and South Punjab were the worst hit.

The Met Office has been forcasting above-normal rains that may cause flash flood. Small and medium sized dams should be made on an emergency basis to avert floods and harness the monsoon water for irrigation purposes.

According to a Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) press release on Friday, Director General Syed Mehboob chaired a meeting in which he said: “The modern floods warning system has been installed at two places DG Khan for prevention of floods disaster.”

He added: “The Rs 10 million new flood alert system, flood warning could be issued 10 days before the possibility of floods, which will enable the authorities to take preventive steps to save a large area from devastation. The DCOs have initiated implementation of floods plan, while emergency-based arrangements have been completed to ensure drainage of monsoon rainwater.”

He said all disposal works have been activated to ensure drainage of rain water throughout the cities, while necessary edibles have been stocked at all fiber storage and godowns of PDMA, which would utilized in case of any emergency. He said communication, command and control system has been further improved, which is also being linked to all districts of the province, to ensure availability of relief activities, in case of possible floods, on immediate basis.

The DG said the PDMA has a large stock of modern automatic boats, fiber boats and life jackets, which would be utilized on short notice, at appropriate time. Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority further informed that all rivers, canals and rivulets are running at a normal level, while water fluctuation of all rivers is being monitored closely.

Weather Forecast

Parts of the country received rainfall of varying intensities on Friday with experts predicting more rains during the next couple of days.

Rain-thundershower occurred at scattered places of Upper Punjab, Islamabad, Khyber PK, Zhob divisions, Barkhan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. Rains, overcast and windy conditions in parts of the country provided much needed relief to the people from the prevailing muggy weather.

Experts are seeing respite for people as a significant rain giving system is affecting parts of the country and it is likely to persist during the next 2-3 days.

Scattered rain-thundershowers associated with gusty winds are expected in Islamabad, Upper/Central Punjab, Khyber PK, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and at isolated places in Northeastern Balochistan and Multan divisions. Isolated heavy falls are also likely in upper Punjab and upper Khyber PK.

According to the experts, a well marked seasonal low lies over north Balochistan and adjoining areas. Monsoonal currents are reaching into upper and eastern parts of the country. A western disturbance is also affecting upper parts of the country and expected to persist during next 02-03 days. On Friday, maximum and minimum temperature in the City was recorded 38 degree Celsius and 23 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 61 per cent.

On Friday, Bannu received 71 mm rain, Barkhan 20 mm, Balakot 16 mm, Muzaffarabad 15 mm, Zhob 11 mm, D I Khan 07 mm, Kalam 06 mm, Risal Pur 05 mm, Dir and Saidusharif 04 mm each, Islamabad and Murree 02 mm each, Rawalpindi, Gilgit, Kotli, Nurpur Thal and Lahore 01 mm each.