Monsoon showers bring flash floods to Pakistan: 12 people dead, 200 000 displaced

Monsoon showers bring flash floods to Pakistan: 12 people dead, 200 000 displaced

Seasonal monsoon heavy rainfall has caused severe flash floods across Pakistan, starting July 16, 2015. The authorities issued flood warnings and declared a state of emergency, as a number of villages and cities across the country were hit by the bad weather conditions. 12 people were found dead and at least 200 000 are displaced from their homes. Severe infrastructural damage was reported.

Strong water outflows from glacial lakes, monsoon rainfall and flash floods hit different areas of Chitral district. Severe damage was done to local houses, roads, bridges, irrigation and water channels.

Daily Pakistan reports over 200 villages have been submerged in Rojhan and Layyah. Residents of lower areas have been urged to move to safety, as the River Indus at Kot Mithan has been reported to be in the 'high flood' state. 'Medium flood' state was declared for the river at Rajanpur and DG Khan. The Punjab Home Minister and Chairman of Cabinet Committee for Flood, Shujah Khanzada has stated the river levels are normal in Punjab, and there is no flood danger at the minute.

Surface pressure (hPa) situation over Pakistan, July 21, 00:00 UTC. Image credit: Global Spectral Model (T639~30km), Pakistan Meteorological Department

A medium to high level flood risk situation has been forecasted for the districts of Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur over the next 72 hours, as about 14 158.4 m3/s (500 000 cusecs) of water is expected to arrive at Taunsa Barrage, Tuesday evening, July 21, 2015. Taunsa Headworks was at the medium flood risk with 11 624 m3/s (410 500 cusecs) being reported, according to Radio Pakistan. Chashma has discharged 13 563.7  m3/s (479 000 cusecs) while Kalabagh reported 10 845.3 m3/s (383 000 cusecs).

72-hr rainfall accumulation as observed by GPM Core Observatory. Image credit: Google / NASA/JAXA GPM.

The River Indus measures 'medium flood' level, locally at Tarbela, Attock, Kalabagh, Chashma and Taunsa, and 'low flood' level at Guddu and Sukkur dams. Flood Warning Center Peshawar reported River Kabul at Warsak and Nowshera dams, and River Panjkora at Dir dam are at the 'medium flood' level, Tuesday morning, July 21.

The residents in the districts of Layyah, Rajanpur and Muzaffargarh have been evacuated as 71 villages have been submerged under flood waters.

100 Army Personals Deployed ( Camp Initiated ) in Sukkur. #Sindh #ARMY #Pakistan #Flood pic.twitter.com/lDIsgYFYvF

— Taha Ali Adil (@TahaAlee) July 21, 2015

The Chitral district in northern part of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has been hit the hardest. Pakistan Army and FC are carrying out rescue and relief operation in the province. Two army helicopters are active in the aid operation, at least 50 people were rescued and over 8 tons of food has so far been distributed.

National meteorological service forecasted Punjab and northern KP, eastern Balochistan and Kashmir are still expecting strong monsoon rainfall due to unstable weather conditions, and the flash flood warning remains active across the area over the next 48 hours.

Featured image: Rescue, relief operations, Punjab, Pakistan, July 21, 2015. Image: @SAMAATV

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