Rains to trigger urban flooding, make locust attack severe: NDMA

Web Desk –  21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Manage­ment Authority (NDMA) has warned that the country faces three major threats during the upcoming monsoon season: serious flooding in all major cities, landslides and glacier outbursts in hilly areas and the ongoing locust invasion becoming more severe during rains.

It asked all relevant authorities in the provinces and major cities to make preparations to face these challenges.

Speaking at a pre-monsoon preparatory meeting on Friday, NDMA chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal said that because of expected above-normal rains watercourses and drains in major cities must be cleaned immediately.

“All major cities are prone to flooding and I will request authorities in Karachi to clean all drains while Sukkur, Hyderabad, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Jhelum and Nowshera need immediate attention by local authorities,” he said.

The National Contingency Plan 2020 prepared by the NDMA was presented at the meeting attended by all officials of relevant federal and provincial government agencies and representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs working in the field of disaster management.

The meeting noted that every year there was a risk of flooding in the monsoon season which normally begins in the country at the end of June and continued till September.

The meeting was informed that traditional phenomenon in the monsoon season includes floods in rivers, flashfloods in hilly areas, landslides and glacier outbursts, but the growing population of cities and developments along the natural water courses had also resulted in rampant urban flooding across the country.

The NDMA chairman referred to the massive flooding in Karachi last year and called for preparations of hazard maps of all cities to face these challenges.

“We need to consider effects of climate change along with traditional preparations,” he said.

The NDMA contingency plan 2020 ensures preparedness at the local level, including early warning arrangements and responsibilities of relevant agencies in the wake of heavy rains, including cloud bursts.

The plan has been prepared in consultations with all government and non-government institutions concerned.

The meeting was further informed that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority would be fully prepared and would have close coordination with local authorities to meet any emergency.

The meeting noted that the massive locust attack across the country and other challenges of the monsoon season demanded an integrated strategy to overcome these challenges in coming months.

As the seasonal outlook of the Met Office showed that the monsoon rains this year are expected to be around 10 per cent above normal across the country, Sindh and Kashmir are likely to receive around 20 per cent above normal rains during the season.

As a result of this there are more chances of urban flooding in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.

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