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Sherry Rehman calls for vigilance as Pakistan braces for heavy rainfall

The minister fears that the country may fall into a recovery trap if it did not have sufficient resources to deal with the devastation caused by the 2022 floods

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Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman has advised the provinces on Wednesday to take necessary precautions and remain vigilant as Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has issued a weather advisory predicting heavy rainfall from April 26th to May 7th.

The minister urged all the provinces to take necessary precautions to ensure public safety during the forecast period of heavy rainfall. This includes cleaning storm drains, ensuring electricity pole stability and maintaining road access in the event of local flooding, she added. She emphasized for taking extra precautions in the areas where reconstruction work is going on as a result of damages caused by the 2022 floods.

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The minister feared that the country may fall into a recovery trap if it did not have sufficient resources to deal with the devastation caused by the 2022 floods. “My fear is that Pakistan will be in the resilience and rebuilding trap if there are not enough resources to plough into the devastation wrought by the 2022 flooding. While there is no clarity on what level of monsoon to expect next, the rebuilding projects will certainly be impacted as well as economic recovery, if even a fraction of the devastation repeats itself.”

Sherry Rehman said, “The forecast predicts strong winds and hailstorms that may cause damage to infrastructure and standing crops, particularly the wheat crop. Farmers must manage their activities keeping in view the weather forecast to avoid damage to crops and infrastructure. In addition, heavy rains may cause flash floods in Mansehra, Abbottabad, Chitral, Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Kashmir from May 1st to May 4th. Parts of Balochistan and hill torrents of D.G Khan may also experience heavy rainfall from April 28th to May 2nd. Landslides may occur in hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, Murree, and Galliyat during the forecast period.”

The minister highlighted that across Pakistan, from Kashmir to Karachi, we must prepare to expect unstable weather patterns leading to sporadic urban flooding “The fishing community is advised to be cautious, particularly off the coast of Ormara, Pasni and Gwadar, due to the possibility of choppy seas and extreme weather conditions. It is important for the citizens to take necessary precautions and stay informed about weather updates during this period.”

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According to PMD, the regions that will be affected by rain, wind, and thunderstorms include Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Mardan, Bajaur, Kurram, Waziristan, Kohat, Islamabad, Murree, Galliyat, Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Lahore from 26th April (evening/night) to 29th April.

The areas that are likely to experience rain, dust, and thunderstorms with isolated heavy falls and hailstorms include Balochistan, South Punjab, and Sindh from 27th April (evening/night) to 3rd May.

Furthermore, more rain, wind, and thunderstorms with isolated heavy falls and hailstorms are expected in various regions from 30th April to 5th May. These regions include Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Mardan, Bajaur, Kurram, Waziristan, Kohat, Karak, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Chitral, Dir, Swat, Mansehra, Buner, Kohistan, Shangla, Haripur, Abbottabad, Islamabad, Murree, Galliyat, Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Khushab, Mianwali, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Kasur, Sheikhupura, and Nankana Sahib.