Pakistan braces for floods and landslides as monsoon nears

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a warning for potential floods and landslides as heavy and light rainfall is anticipated across various regions of Pakistan in early July.

The alert covers areas including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, where moderate to heavy rains could intensify water levels in nullahs, streams, and rivers, potentially leading to flash floods in low-lying regions.

According to NDMA projections, monsoon precipitation may trigger hill torrents in parts of Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Rajanpur, as well as the Suleman and Kirthar mountain ranges. Urban centers are also at risk of flooding.

Furthermore, vulnerable areas such as Murree, Galiyat, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and mountainous zones of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan may experience landslides.

Increased temperatures coupled with rainfall in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa heighten concerns for potential Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (Glofs) in susceptible valleys, NDMA added.

The authority also cautioned about possible damage from dust storms, wind, thunderstorms, and heavy showers, which could impact infrastructure such as electrical poles, solar panels, hoardings, trees, and ongoing construction projects.

Citizens, particularly travelers and tourists, have been advised to stay informed about weather forecasts and flood conditions, take necessary precautions, and consider alternative routes for travel.

Rain brings relief from heat in twin cities

Residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad experienced relief from scorching temperatures as rainfall graced various parts of the cities on Sunday evening. The temperature in Islamabad dropped from 41°C to 36°C during the downpour, which lasted from 3:20 pm to 4:10 pm. Despite the rain, water levels in Rawalpindi’s Leh Nullah remained stable.

Prior to this rainfall, the region endured temperatures exceeding 40°C for several days, compelling people to stay indoors during the afternoon hours.

The prevailing weather conditions in most parts of the country are characterized by hot and dry weather, influenced by continental air with a shallow westerly wave in the upper regions.

However, isolated windstorms, thunderstorms, and rainfall are expected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northeast Punjab, the Potohar region, Islamabad, northeast Balochistan, southeast Sindh, Gilgit Baltistan, and Kashmir on Monday.

Heatwave persists in Karachi

Meanwhile, Karachi continues to sizzle under a persistent heatwave, with temperatures reaching 40.6°C on Sunday and relative humidity at 54%. The Meteorological Department forecasts similar weather patterns to persist for the next few days, with temperatures expected between 38°C and 40°C.

Chief Meteorologist Dr. Sardar Sarfaraz attributed the hot weather to dry continental winds following the westerly wave, noting that the sea breeze would likely remain light or suspended in Karachi during this period. The onset of the monsoon in southeast Sindh is anticipated in the first week of July, he added.

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