NDMA reviews preparations for monsoon season
ISLAMABAD—National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday reviewed all preparatory efforts at federal and provincial levels against floods, rescue and relief measures and flood rehabilitation during the upcoming monsoon season. The conference was chaired by Chairman NDMA Major General Asghar Nawaz.
While presenting monsoon outlook of 2016, Pakistan Meteorological Department predicted likelihood of 1020 per cent above normal rainfalls across the country. More than average rainfall is expected over Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, AJK and North East Balochistan. Some extreme rainfall events are likely to occur in catchment areas of major rivers which may cause floods.
There is also a high probability of heavy down-pour which may generate flash flooding along Suleman Range. Some heavy downpour events may produce urban flooding in big cities. Some strong incursions of monsoon currents, coupled with high temperature, may trigger landslides and flash floods in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan.
Federal Flood Commission presented province wise vulnerable points needing special attention, policy for dam management while National Highway Authority (NHA) shared progress on preparatory efforts undertaken for various national highways with focus on KKH, GilgitSkardu Road, Dir-Chitral Road, Rawalpindi-Murree-Muzaffarabad Road and Mansehra-Naran Road. Pakistan Army Engineers Directorate informed participants about army’s preparedness measures in support of civil administration.
UNOCHA shared resource capacities of UN agencies across Pakistan and coordination mecha-nism. NDMA presented the salient features of National Monsoon Contingency Response Directive-2016. NDMA realistically identified the limitations of existing mechanism within which have to operate.
Weaknesses based on past experiences were also highlighted for improvement. Four contingency scenarios have been visualized by NDMA based on the pre monsoon forecast issued by Pakistan Met Department. These are moderately above normal monsoon (most likely), intense monsoon (probable), response all stakeholders erratic monsoon (less probable) and abnormal erratic monsoon (most dangerous).
Participants were told that national and provincial response for flood fighting and rescue and relief will be configured against most likely scenario and moderately above normal monsoon while all concerned must take safeguard against other three scenarios as well. It was highlighted that monsoon season presents threat of riverine floods, flash floods, urban flooding and glacier lake floods.
The responsibility matrix was also presented which defined the role of each department. Irrigation department is primarily responsible for riverine and flash flood management while municipal corporations and city development authorities and district governments are responsible for urban flood management.
NDMA and PDMA and all other line departments and organizations are responsible for flood fighting, rescue, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation operations. Armed forces are to be called for emergency response in aid of civil administration as per contingency plans.
NDMA response directive outlines major response guidelines which include community early warning through SMS alerts in districts likely to be affected by floods, coordination of relief stocks held with all disaster management authorities, resource mapping and completion of flood protection works before June 30.—APP