Pakistan: Flood disruptions continue in many parts of the country since August 28 /update 1

Event

Heavy rains associated with the current monsoon season continue to cause floods, landslides and related disruptions in many parts of Pakistan since August 28. About 1,033 people died during the respective incidents; 119 of them were killed in the last 24-36 hours. The floods also damaged more than 450,000 residential buildings and destroyed another 218,000. Many roads and bridges were also damaged or destroyed. The most affected areas are Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan. Within these places, officials have declared 66 districts as a disaster. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that approximately 15 percent of the country’s population, i.e. 33 million people, were affected by the floods.

The authorities have warned about further negative conditions. Very high and level flooding is possible along parts of the Kabul River in Noshera until at least August 28. At Kalabagh and Chasma, the Indus River will reach high to very high levels sometime by August 29. Officials said no significant rain is expected until at least September 3, but in addition to the river flood levels mentioned above, the Indus River at Townsa, Guddu and Sukkur could reach high flood levels by early September, officials said. Flood conditions are not predicted in Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej rivers. Rainfall in the country is expected to exceed the norm at least until September.

Dangerous conditions
More etcheavy downpours can cause flooding in low-lying settlements near rivers, creeks and streams. Urban flooding is also possible in developed areas where stormwater drainage systems easily overflow. Areas downstream of large reservoirs or rivers may experience flooding after relatively short periods of intense rainfall. Landslides are possible in hilly or mountainous areas, especially where the soil is saturated due to heavy rains.

Authorities may issue additional mandatory evacuation orders for flooded communities in the coming days. When significant flooding or mudslides affect utility networks, power and telecommunications service interruptions may occur.

Transportation
Floodwaters and debris flows may make some bridges, rail networks or highways impassable, affecting land travel in and around the affected areas. Puddles on road surfaces can cause dangerous driving conditions on regional highways. Authorities may temporarily close some low-lying roads under flood waters.

Severe weather may also cause flight delays and cancellations at all airports in Pakistan. If strong winds cause dangerous sea conditions, authorities may temporarily suspend port operations or close beach fronts along the Arabian Sea coast. Flooding could shut down regional rail lines; There may be delays and cancellations of freight and passenger trains in areas experiencing heavy rains and potential track flooding.

Localized business disruptions may occur in low-lying areas; some businesses may not be operating at full capacity due to flood damage to facilities, possible evacuations and the inability of some employees to reach their workplaces.

Health
Flooding can increase the risk of disease outbreaks. When floods recede, backflow from drainages mixed with floodwaters may become trapped in open areas. These stagnant pools often become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and bacteria, leading to an increase in the number of insects and water-borne diseases. Exposure to contaminated water from flooded industries, sewage systems, and septic tanks also poses a serious health hazard.

Advice

Monitor local media for weather updates and related advisories. Confirm all transportation reservations and business appointments before traveling. Reserve for local travel delays and potential supply chain disruptions when flooding is forecast. Do not drive on flooded roads. Charge battery-powered devices in the event of a prolonged power outage. Avoid standing water bodies.

Resources

Pakistan Meteorological Department
National Disaster Management

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