On Monday evening, heavy rainfall drenched various parts of Karachi, resulting in a delightful weather shift throughout the metropolis. According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PDM), there was a forecast for Karachi to have a chance of light rainfall and thunderstorms during the evening and nighttime.
Pakistan is a country that is no stranger to natural disasters, with floods being one of the most common occurrences. With the arrival of the monsoon season, the country once again braces itself for heavy rainfall which can lead to disastrous consequences if proper preparations are not made.
Keeping in mind the consequences of the last monsoon rains. Pakistan has experienced its most severe flooding in ten years due to an unprecedented amount of rainfall the last summer. The areas around the Indus River, which are situated at a low altitude, were converted into swamps by the floodwaters. Over 1 million households had been affected in some way, and over 5,500 roads, bridges, and shops had been impacted since mid-June. From June to August, over 1,160 people lost their lives, and 3,500 suffered injuries as a result.
Are we ready for another spell of upcoming heavy rains? No, we are not! The country’s geographical location, coupled with poor infrastructure, makes it vulnerable to the effects of heavy rainfall. Pakistan is situated at the confluence of several major river systems, including the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, and Ravi, which all originate from the Himalayas. This geography makes Pakistan’s river basins prone to flooding, especially during the monsoon season.
The Pakistani government, in recent years, has taken steps to improve the country’s flood management system. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been tasked with preparing the country for natural disasters, including floods. The NDMA has developed a comprehensive plan for dealing with floods that include early warning systems, evacuation plans, and the construction of protective structures, such as embankments and levees, in flood-prone areas.
However, despite these measures, there are concerns about Pakistan’s preparedness for heavy rainfall. The country’s infrastructure, including its drainage system, is often inadequate, leading to waterlogging in urban areas. This waterlogging can cause significant damage to property and infrastructure, disrupt transport, and pose a threat to public health.
Moreover, deforestation, overgrazing, and other environmental issues have led to soil erosion, which exacerbates the impact of heavy rainfall. Soil erosion reduces the soil’s ability to absorb water, leading to increased surface runoff and soil erosion. This, in turn, can lead to flash floods and landslides, which are difficult to predict and prepare for.
In conclusion, Pakistan has taken some steps to prepare for heavy rainfall, but more needs to be done to mitigate the impact of floods. The government needs to focus on improving infrastructure, including drainage systems, in urban areas to prevent waterlogging. Additionally, efforts need to be made to address environmental issues, such as deforestation and soil erosion, to reduce the risk of flash floods and landslides. With proper planning and investments, Pakistan can reduce the impact of heavy rainfall and protect its citizens and infrastructure from the devastating effects of floods.
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