Monsoon rains may play havoc in various cities

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PMD issues alert and flood warning to concerned departments during monsoon

PMD requires Rs16b for effective Earlier Warning System installation; Senate Committee informs

Islamabad—The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Monday warned all the concerned departments to remain high alert during moonsoon season starting from June, 27 which would cause flash flooding in big cities of country. Talking to media PMD Director General Dr Ghulam Rasul said that the initial rains would not cause any flooding because the dry soil would absorb the water but after that the rains may play havoc in various cities. He further said usually, monsoon rains start from July 1st, but this year it is going to commence from June 27.
The water inflow would increase during the monsoon season that could lead to an alarming situation, he added. Commenting on PMD’s preparations for the monsoon period, Dr Ghulam Rasool said, “We have written letters to the Chief Secretaries, Chief Ministers and Governors of all four provinces as well as Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir to complete their preparations to cope with any disaster or emergency situation.”
This time, the Met Office had informed all the departments concerned about the chances of floods so that they must be well prepared, he said adding, “No one can now blame the Met Office for not forecasting floods in time.”He informed the rains are likely to start from upper parts of the country and would spread towards the central and southern parts during the week.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Monday informed that Rs 16 billion are required for installation of modern equipments in the Pakistan Meteorological Department for effective Earlier Warning System (EWS).
Director General Pakistan Meteorological Department Ghulam Rasool informed the committee that most of the equipments installed in the PMD are outdated. He said that meeting recently held in Prime Minister house was informed about the requirements of the PMD office. He said the government had assured to provide the financial requirements for the installation of the modern equipments.
The DG also stressed the need for capacity building of PMD for more effective functioning. Presently China’s satellite is helping Pakistan in forecasting the weather system. He said PMD is in the process of up-gradation of its radar system which will enable them to provide accurate forecast. The DG informed the committee that there is a dearth of updated equipment, which is why the department is unable to have an effective EWS.
He said that 20 radars are needed to cover complete area of Pakistan, however, there are only 7 radars installed out of which majority have completed their life span. Pakistan suffers billions of rupees loss due to yearly floods due to lack of an updated and effective telemetery system. Senator Mushahid Hussain said that it is extremely sad that despite Pakistan being the top most country affected by Climate change, “our response is delayed and we have ad hoc moment to moment approach. We should rather have preemptive approach”
The chairman committee senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf decided to call a full session to be briefed by all relevant departments concerned with early warning system of floods and other natural disasters. The representative of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) informed the committee SMS based early warning system for communities was established with the assistance of PTA and collaboration of Cellular Companies which resulted in timely evacuations as well as public awareness.
While informing the committee on set up of LNG terminal the ministry of the Petroleum and Natural Resources said that before operations and construction, it is mandatory for a company to seek NOC from Ministry of Defense, environmental protection agencies and other relevant departments. The Committee was held here under the chairmanship of Senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini to discuss the impact of construction of LNG Terminal on Bundel Island.
Therefore, the construction of the terminal started only after the due process was carried out. The official further said that the terminal is 8km from the Defence Housing Authority and 10km from the port hence does not pose any significant threat to the population or the security installations. The official of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) also briefed the committee and showed their satisfaction on the construction of the terminal and informed that all environmental safety standards were kept in mind prior to the constructions.
Representative of CDA informed the committee that fire sub-station at Dara Jangla in Margallah hills was established. The fire vehicle of fire Brigade with crew along with forest fires pickets staff of environment directorate is working around the clock. A squad of 50 fireman of directorate of Fire and rescue are available at fire headquarters. The committee was attended by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Senator Samina Abid, Senator Kulsoom Parveen and Senator Sitara Ayaz.—APP

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