ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed has said that although outgoing monsoon has brought intense rains in different parts of Pakistan however there is no threat of flood in the country.
Speaking to the media here at the Committee room of the federal Ministry of Climate Change on recent rain spell in the country, the minister said, “The monsoon spell, which brought heavy rains in different parts of the country, is now gradually phasing out and there is possibility of any flood in the country.”
He appreciated officials of the Pakistan Meteorological Department for forecasting about the recent spell of rains and issuing directions for taking measures to mitigate possible resultant losses [whatever] to the all provincial government department concerned in timely manner.
The climate change minister said that these timely rain forecasts and warnings/directions helped the provincial governments to prepare for the recent rain spell and mitigate loss of the life and socio-economic damages at any level, which otherwise would have been of enormous proportions.
He said that although half of Dera Ismail Khan is under water, but ruled out any danger to the sensitive nuclear installations in the area from heavy rains that ignited hill torrents.
He expressed his satisfaction over preparedness of the NDMA, PDMA and DDMAs, saying these disaster management bodies are functioning well and taking care of the post-rain situations developing in the affected districts of the country.
Whiling taking stock of the loss of the life and damages in the wake of the recent rains, the National Disaster Management Authority Chairman (NDMA), Dr, Zafar Iqbal Qadir, said that 89 deaths have been reported till Tuesday morning (September 11) and as many as 68 are injured in the rain-related incidents in the entire country.
He denied media reports about the rain-related fatalities being reported in the media and termed it exaggerated.
Talking about house collapses/damages following the rains, the NDMA chairman told media that according the initial reports as many as 8575 houses damaged in recent rains have been reported till Tuesday morning by PDMAs and DDMAs in different parts of the county, most of them in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Giving break-up of the figures about damaged houses, Dr, Zafar Iqbal Qadir, said,” As many as 33 houses have been damaged in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, 31 in Azad Jammu-Kashmir, 11 in Balochistan, 07 in Punjab and 03 in Sindh province.
He termed death toll in rain-related incidents in Sindh province being reported in the media as exaggerated.
The NDMA chairman said that as many as four deaths have been reported by PDMA in Sindh till Tuesday morning.
He said that breaches in rain-hit districts of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have caused flooding of agricultural lands and urban areas. But, army has been called in with heavy machineries, which have plugged several breaches in Sindh and Dera Ismail Khan and work is underway to plugged the remaining breaches.
The rainwater, which has flooded different urban areas in affected districts of the country will retreat in few days one the rains come to a complete halt, which is expected to happen in next seven to 10 days, the NDMA chairman told media.
The Climate Change Ministry’s secretary, Mahmood Alam said that it has been very difficult to accurately predict weather as it has growing become unpredictable and erratic.
He said that Pakistan accounts for a little over 0.5 percent of the total global carbon emissions, but it is among top 10 countries highly vulnerable to climate change impacts.
The federal secretary told media that given the deepening impacts of the global warming on Pakistan, extreme weather events such as heavy rains, droughts, floods are becoming increasingly frequent.
Sea-level rise, he maintained, is another threat that is eating away fertile lands in coastal areas of Pakistan and damaging under ground sweet water resources.
The secretary Mahmood Alam told media, “ Pakistan is fully aware of the changing harsh weather patterns and their impact on Pakistan.
To tackle these extreme weather events, a national climate change policy has been already hammered out, which is pending cabinet’s approval.”
“I hope the ‘roadmap’ climate change policy, which focuses on mitigation and adaptation, will be approved soon by the cabinet.”
Earlier, the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Director-General, Arif Mahmood, briefed the media about the recent rains and future situation of the monsoon spell.
He said that these rains have been intense in northern parts of Sindh, central Punjab, and eastern Balochistan.
“While the outgoing monsoon season’s recent rain spell is phasing out, the heavy rains are expected scattered parts of northern Punjab, north-west Balochistan for four to five days. Later, the rain spell will weaken in following four to five days.