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Was the monsoon havoc wreaked countrywide due to NDMA’s failure?

Despite PMD’s early warnings, death toll crossed 1,300, with 670,328 houses destroyed

The devastating monsoon rains and accompanying deluge have wreaked havoc countrywide, causing massive losses in lives and treasure. The National Disaster management Authority (NDMA) has failed to ensure relief and protection of the masses from floods even though the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had forewarned that the country was expected to receive “above average rainfall” during this year’s monsoon season.

The recent floods have wreaked havoc in the country as the death toll has crossed 1,300. The recent heavy monsoon falls have created a humanitarian crisis throughout the country. Pakistan is currently in the grip of a severe monsoon system that has been declared a ‘national emergency’ by the government. The data shared by the NDMA has revealed that 670,328 houses have been completely destroyed due to rains and 793,995 cattle have died, according to a media report.

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Prior to this, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had issued a detailed ‘National Monsoon Contingency Plan-2022’, according to which, “There is a dire need of an efficient, proactive and synergized system for a well-coordinated response mechanism.”

It had listed flood hazard zones on basis of data from 2021, according to which Dera Ismail Khan, Rajanpur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Jamshoro, Dadu, Thatha, Sajawal, Larkana, Shahdadkot, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad, Neelum, Peshawar, Charsadda had been included in very high flood hazard zones while

Washuk, Kharan, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Mianwali, Tank, Swat, Diamir, Gilgit, Ghizer, Nagar, Hunza, Upper Kohistan, Lower Dir, Bagh were included in high flood hazard zones.

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According to visualized contingency scenarios derived from PMD’s Outlook for Monsoon 2022, the most dangerous scenario, ‘Abnormal Monsoon’, is as follows:

  1. Two systems coming from West and East collide causing heavy downpour and a situation similar to Super Floods 2010.
  2. Common possibility (Flash floods, Riverine Floods, Urban flooding, landslides, avalanches, & GLOF)

The document issued by NDMA had also said that there was possibility of flash flooding and hill torrents in mountainous areas of Punjab, KP and Balochistan. It also said that urban flooding in major metropolis of Punjab, Sindh and KP could not be ruled out.

NDMA was also criticized after the Murree incident in January this year when at least 22 people had died after being stranded in their cars in a snowstorm.

The chief justice of Islamabad High Court had come down hard on NDMA saying that the fatalities would not have occurred if NDMA was prepared and had taken prior measures.



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