Situation Update: “Unpredictable Weather Threatens Vulnerable Communities”

Situation Update: “Unpredictable Weather Threatens Vulnerable Communities”

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Background:

Following several days of rains and melting snow that wrecked havoc among low lying river communities, the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to take quick rehabilitation measures in flood-hit areas and also carry out a detailed survey to assess the losses of lives and property, according to Pakistan Television Network. District Coordination Officer (DCO) of Peshawar has established a flood warning cell to monitor the situation and to issue warnings to alert the people before flood to facilitate the affected people. High level floods were also recorded in the Kabul River at Warsak and Nowshera areas and high alert was called for the people lived on the river banks.

The pre-monsoon rains are an indication of how vulnerable many communities are ahead of the 2013 monsoon season. Several days of rain during seasonal river flooding resulted in loss of lives, damages to houses, roads, bridges, and crops, and displaced thousands of families from their homes.

According to Flood Cell Peshawar, the Kabul‚ Warsak‚ Panjkora Rivers are now in medium flood while River Swat‚ River Shah Alam‚ Nguman River and Indus River are in low flood. Kabul River at Nowshehra and Warsak and River Panjkora at Dir are in medium flood. River Swat at Khawazakhela‚ River Shah Alam at Takhtabad‚ Nguman River at Charsadda Road and Indus River at Khairabad are in low flood.

According to reports the government of KPK has released funds to Deputy Commissioners of flood-affected districts to meet the urgent needs of the people. The district administrations of the concerned district have been put on high alert to assist and rehabilitate flood-affected communities, including relocation of people to safe places if needed. Monitoring committees headed by ministers will be established for rehabilitation.

In Baseen (Gilgit) at least 30 families have been living in tents since their houses were inundated by floodwater. The displaced residents have appealed to non-governmental organizations to extend further help. Almost 72 families were shifted to tents and other makeshift accommodation arrangements in Dalnati Village of Ghizer Valley (Gilgit) after houses were swept away this week. The district administration also set up 90 tents, provided food packs, hygiene sets, and kitchen utensils. A doctor is also available for free medical treatment round the clock.  Besides food and other necessities provided by the Red Crescent Society, the communities require a supply of safe drinking water, food, and medicines.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of KPK, Punjab, and Sindh. However, the weather in Pakistan has been unpredictable due to global warming. Rainfall will gradually increase from the month of August 2013 over central parts of the country. During the last phase of monsoon in September 2013 heavy rainfall is expected in Punjab and Sindh.

CWS-P/A Response:

Currently, CWS-P/A is closely monitoring the situation. CWS-P/A also developed a pre-monsoon and monsoon floods 2013 contingency plan and is prepared to respond if the need arises.