Pindi’s low-lying areas under flood threat as fresh rainy spell starts today

Zubair Qureshi

With the start of Sawan (rainy month), flooding forecast has been issued in the wake of widespread monsoon rains across the country from this week starting today (Tuesday). Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has alerted the people and relevant authorities to the possibility of flooding in Rawalpindi’s nullahs. It also issued a warning about landslides in hilly regions of the country due to sporadic rainfall.
The widespread rains coupled with thunderstorm would fall in the country in the next week. “The monsoon currents are expected to penetrate in upper parts of Pakistan from Sunday or Monday to grip most parts of the country during the mid week. Also, a westerly wave is expected to grip upper parts of the country during the mid week,” said an official of the Met department.
The thundershowers with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a number of places in Islamabad, upper Punjab, including Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Lahore and Faisalabad divisions, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir from Monday (July 10) to Thursday (July 13) and at scattered places in southern Punjab, including Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur and Sahiwal divisions from Tuesday to Thursday, said he.
He added that thundershowers with isolated heavy downpour would fall at scattered places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan between Tuesday and Thursday and moderate or heavy rains at scattered places in Sindh and eastern Balochistan’s Zhob, Sibbi, Naseerabad and Kalat divisions from Friday to Sunday.
The Met office has already warned that heavy rainfall could generate urban flooding and flash floods in the nullahs of Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and DG Khan divisions in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and AJK. It was in the last week of June, 2017 when ‘flood alert’ was declared in the garrison city and residents of the low-lying areas were asked to temporarily shift to safer places.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is also being requested by the residents of the city to visit and monitor the flood preventive steps being taken by the CDGR. “Flooding in the city can be avoided if officials fix the drainage system,” said Zia Ul Qamar a resident of Arya Mohalla. He said that even light rainfall choked drains and water entered shops and houses.
Arshad Ali, a resident of Mohallah Raja Sultan, said rainwater has already entered some of the houses and God forbid, if rains fall the situation could worsen. Situation in Pindi is alarming and urgent measures are required in this regard.

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