National Disasters Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal Wednesday said all preparations were completed to extend all-out help and assistance to people of Khyber Pakthunkhwa during emergency situation and natural calamities including floods and heavy torrential rains in monsoon season. He was addressing a press-conference here after his meeting with Khyber Pakthunkhwa Chief Minister, Chief Secretary where he was briefed by PDMA officials.
The NDMA Chairman said there was no serious threat of severe floods during monsoon in the country, however, “we are fully prepared to help and assist our people during any emergency situation.” He said NDMA have identified floods’ potential sites in KP and was in close touch with all the organizations and departments concerned including KP PDMA to avert damages in terms of human and properties in case of floods and natural disasters in future. The chairman said Chitral was the most venerable district in the province for natural disasters due to presence of glaciers which were melting fast because of global warming and climate change. It was also causing looming threats of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) in future.
He said a high-level team comprising members of NDMA, PDMA and other relevant departments would visit Chitral within a week for monitoring of glaciers and glacial situation to take safety and preemptive measures. “There is no flood threat to Chitral at the moment and the situation is being closely monitored in the district,” he said.
He said trees play key role in combating floods and the chief minister has been requested for launching of a special component of the ongoing billion Trees Afforestration Project (BTAP) in Chitralto slowdown flow of floods and rainy water to protect downwards districts from floods. Gen Muhammad Afzal maintained that restarting of work on Balakot City has been discussed with Khyber Pakthunkhwa Chief Minister in detail and work on this mega project would be resumed and completed in line with the guidelines of Supreme Court of Pakistan on fast track basis to help the affected people of 2005 earthquake.
He said less rains has been recently reported from an average rainfall in Karachi and the flood situation occurred there today was due to closer of water channels filled with dumped garbage and encroachments.