Met Office forecasts near normal monsoon in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) forecasts overall near normal monsoon in the country.

PMD has suggested to federal and provincial governments for correct and quick response, adequate safeguards and Remedial measures to be adopted, in the National Monsoon Contingency Response Directive-2019 (NMCRD-2019).

The NMCRD-2019 has been released by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Prime Minister Office Islamabad.

The forecast is broad based, predicting overall near Normal Monsoon in the Country. However, due to extreme weather events, possibility of riverine, flash and urban floods in various regions of the country especially in the northern half (GB,AJ&K, KP, and Northern Punjab) exists which calls for a “comprehensive response” against all eventualities.

“Normal to above normal rainfall in upper half of the country and slight to moderate, below normal rainfall in southern half of the country (Balochistan & Sindh) means monsoon rainfall with variable intensity throughout the country.

Heavy localized rains are likely to cause/generate flash flooding in mountainous areas leading to mudflow/ landslides etc.

It demands decentralized and flexibility in developing & retaining of adequate response capacity for throughout entire duration of the Monsoon season.

Due to unplanned settlements and poor solid waste management, there is a likely chances of urban flooding which demands clearance of water ways, efficient management of drainage system and pre-positioning of dewatering pumps in low lying areas.

In case of unpredictable behavior of Monsoon and its interaction with westerly weather system, extreme rainfall events like torrential rains, cloudbursts etc may render vulnerable areas isolated resulting into shortage of basic commodities.

Therefore, strategic placing of earth moving machinery along with food stocks, medicines and Petroleum Oil Lubricant (POL) in such areas may be considered at regional level.

Synchronous effect of riverine floods, flash floods and urban floods in areas vulnerable to all three Flood hazards cannot be ruled out. Hence, correct response must be configured in such regions / areas.

Possibility of combined effect of GLOF, landslides and flash floods calls for enhanced vigilance for community early warning, identification of likely GLOF sites and placement of response measures in KP (District Chitral), GB and AJ&K from the outset.

Below normal rainfall in southern half of the country (Sindh & Balochistan) can cause drought like situation or it can further aggravate the existing drought like situation in Balochistan and Sindh.

Therefore, continuous monitoring of drought contributing factors, careful regulation of major water reservoirs and taking adequate safeguards i.e. stockpiling of wheat, livestock fodder, and alternative arrangements for emergency water supply & lifesaving medicines must be considered by concerned Provinces/ relevant departments.

In order to address water shortage in drought vulnerable areas, the water managers should take measures for water regulations.