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Departments in Punjab put on high alert as floods feared

The Punjab government on Tuesday put all the departments concerned on high alert after the Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) issued a flood warning in the wake of more rainfalls from Wednesday.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) issued a weather advisory informing that the third spell of monsoon currents are continuously penetrating the country and are likely to shift and intensify in upper and central parts of the country from today.

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This third spell of monsoon is likely to begin soon after the second spell ended yesterday, which was earlier predicted by the PMD until July 26.

According to the PMD, more rains/thundershowers with scattered heavy falls are expected in Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Jhang, Mianwali, Khushab, Sargodha, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Sahiwal, Okara, Bhakkar, Layyah, Multan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanpur, Swat, Mansehra, Kohistan, Abbottabad, Haripur, Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Kurram, Waziristan, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat and D.I. Khan from 27th to 31st July with occasional gaps. The PMD has forecast scattered thunderstorms/rain of moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls expected over the upper catchments of all major rivers along with Sindh, eastern and coastal Balochistan.

During the period, it predicted flash flooding in local nullahs of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Shakargarh, Sialkot, Narowal, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Dir, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Musakhel, Sherani, Sibbi, Bolan and AJ&K as well as the Hill Torrents of DG Khan.

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Meanwhile, the catchment areas of Rivers Jhelum, Chenab and Ravi may receive heavy downpours causing water levels to significantly rise during the forecasted period. With the prediction of heavy rainfall, the FFD issued medium- to high-level flooding in Chenab River at Marala, Khanki and Qadirabad; in Jhelum River at Mangla (upstream) along with nullahs of Ravi and Chenab Rivers after 36 hours.

“There is a possibility of medium to heavy floods at Khanki in Chenab River where the water level is continuously increasing,” the FFD informed, and added that the discharge of water is 154,890 cusecs, which may cause flooding in Hafizabad district.

PMD Lahore Region Director Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam said that the monsoon weather system had become active over upper parts of the country, producing widespread thunderstorms and rains in different areas.

Talking to Minute Mirror, he said that the strong monsoon currents were continuously penetrating the country while the intensity of the current monsoon was above normal.

“As the rainfall is expected above the normal which may cause urban flooding in various cities,” Aslam said, adding that the PMD had informed all the departments to take possible measures in wake of the heavy rains.

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