‘Excessive monsoon rains may impact agri sector negatively’
ISLAMABAD—Director General Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Dr Ghulam Rasool Monday said excessive monsoon rains could have negative impact on the agriculture sector. He said stagnant water in the crops of cotton and sugarcane, if did not recede, could damage them. However, the rice crop would not be harmed by the stagnant water.
Talking to APP, Dr Ghulam Rasool said there was the forecast of moderate rain during the ongoing pre-monsoon spell, that was unlikely to cause major floods. However the overall monsoon period, starting from July, would bring heavy downpour that could cause every kind of floods like riverine and flash floods, he added.
Dr Ghulam Rasool said excessive rains were likely in north-east Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Azad Jammu Kashmir and the areas along the Suleman Range during the monsoon period. He said glacier melting due to high temperatures at times would also increase the water level in rivers. Strong incursions of monsoon currents with high temperature may trigger Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF), landslides and flash floods in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Commenting on PMD’s preparations for the monsoon period, Dr Ghulam Rasool said, “We have written letters to the chief secretaries, chief ministers and governors of all four provinces as well as Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir to complete their preparations to cope with any disaster or emergency situation.”
This time, the Met Office had informed all the departments concerned about the chances of floods so that they must be well prepared, he said adding, “No one can now blame the Met Office for not forecasting floods in time.” Replying to a question, he said the PMD’s Flood Forecasting Warning System (FFWS) for the Nullah Leh was now fully functional after restoration of its frequency to alert the people by sounding alarms in case of increasing water level during the monsoon rains.
“The frequency of FFSW was earlier allocated to National Database Registration Authority (NDMA) by the authorities concerned, however, it has been re-allocated to the Flood Forecasting Warning System now,” he added. The warning system is used to alert people living along nullahs, river banks and low lying areas by sounding alarms so that they could move to safer places. Recently, the DG said, the FFSW for Nullah Leh was made functional and now there would be no issue in giving alerts and warnings in flash-flood like emergencies.—APP