More than 30 people killed as widespread pre-monsoon rains hit Pakistan

noaa-20 viirs june 26 2023 f

Pre-monsoon rainfall continues to wreak havoc in Pakistan, with the death toll rising to 32 and 48 injured as of July 3, 2023. Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan provinces bear the brunt, with 32 homes reported damaged. More heavy rainfall is expected in the days ahead.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the death toll has reached 32. Twenty of these deaths occurred in Punjab, seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and five in Balochistan. Lightning strikes, electrocution, and roof collapses have been cited as the main causes of these fatalities. In addition, 48 individuals have sustained injuries and 32 homes have been damaged.

In the past week, regions including Kashmir, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Pothohar, and northeast Punjab have experienced moderate to heavy rain, strong winds, and isolated thunderstorms.

The Met Department issued a countrywide advisory on July 2, warning of heavy rain and potential hailstorms leading to urban flooding starting from the night of July 3. The advisory also urged district administrations to remain alert to avoid flood-like situations. This severe weather pattern is expected to persist until July 8.

The advisory further outlined that moist currents from the Arabian Sea are likely to penetrate the upper parts of the country, and a westerly wave is also anticipated to enter the region. This will result in rain spells, thunderstorms, and scattered hailstorms in various parts of the country from July 5 to 8.

The advisory also warned that heavy rainfall might trigger urban flooding in low-lying areas of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Gujranwala, and Lahore, and cause landslides in vulnerable regions of Murree, Galliyat, Kashmir, GB, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from July 4 to 7. Flash floods are also anticipated in the areas of D.G. Khan and adjoining regions of northeast Balochistan from July 6 to 8.

Given the weather conditions, farmers and tourists have been advised to plan their activities in accordance with the forecast. Meanwhile, the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) warned of potential flash flooding in the hill torrents of D.G. Khan Division, local nullahs of northern Balochistan, and small rivers of Bannu, Kohat, and D.I. Khan.

The FFC’s daily report highlighted that the Kabul River continues to flow in low flood at Nowshera, while rivers Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej maintain normal flows.

References:

1 Pakistan – Severe weather, update – DG ECHO – July 3, 2023

2 Monsoon rains set to lash Pakistan from today – Dawn – July 3, 2023

Featured image credit: NOAA-20/VIIRS, The Watchers. Acquired on June 26, 2023

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