Pakistan Govt forms high-level committee for Monsoon Emergency Management

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has set up a high-level committee to manage potential emergencies during the forthcoming monsoon season.

Chairing a review meeting on July 2, he announced that he would personally supervise the response to any flood situations.

PM Shehbaz stressed the importance of incorporating advanced monsoon information into national broadcasts and regularly providing weather updates to farmers. He promised full support to farmers during emergencies and emphasized the necessity for swift assistance in such situations.

He directed all pertinent institutions to stay on high alert and instructed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to assist provincial governments and associated agencies. He required that advance information about the monsoon be communicated to people in high-risk areas, especially farmers and residents near rivers and canals, through daily updates via media and other channels.

Monsoon Forecast and Preparation

During the meeting, the NDMA presented an in-depth briefing on the monsoon forecast and vulnerable areas. Heavy monsoon rains are anticipated in the four provinces during the first and second weeks of July, progressing from the southeast to the north.

Provincial Rainfall forecast

  • Punjab: Heavy rains are expected in Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Lahore, and Faisalabad in the second week of July; scattered rainfall in Bahawalpur, Multan, Sahiwal, and Dera Ghazi Khan.
  • Sindh: Heavy rains in Karachi, Mirpur Khas, Nawabshah, Sukkur, and Hyderabad in the second and fourth weeks of July; monsoon showers in Tharparkar, Badin, Thatta, and Umarkot in the third week of August.
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Heavy rains are expected in Hazara, Malakand, Mardan, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, and Dera Ismail Khan during July, persisting until the third week of August.
  • Balochistan: Heavy rains likely in border areas with the Sindh coastal belt during the second and fourth weeks of July and the first two weeks of August; significant rainfall in Lasbela, Armada, Khuzdar, Barkhan, Sibi, and Zhob in the third week of August.
  • Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir: Partial rains expected in July, with large-scale rains in August. Heavy rains and landslides are possible in Azad Kashmir during July.

Rescue and Relief Efforts

Updates on preparations for rescue and relief efforts along the Sutlej and Chenab rivers were also discussed. Adequate stocks of boats, tents, drainage pumps, medicines, and other essential items are available. Preparations for the monsoon began in January, with emergency response exercises ongoing since March.

Contingency Plans

A National Monsoon Contingency Plan has been developed and shared with relevant institutions and provincial governments. The NDMA has introduced a mobile application for monsoon alerts and weather updates, which is actively used by the public. Rescue agencies, Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, the Pakistan Army, and the NDMA are on high alert in high-risk areas.

The chief secretaries of the four provinces briefed attendees on their respective action plans to manage the monsoon season and respond to associated emergencies.

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