Situation Update: Rain Havoc Continues in Pakistan

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 12, 2012

Background:

Ten days after the Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) issued a two-week severe weather advisory across Pakistan, the death toll drastically rose to 89 (Aug. 22-Sept. 11) for the ongoing spell of late monsoon rains. On September 11, PMD reported that unprecedented rains fell over 5 days in Southern Punjab, Sindh, and eastern parts of Balochistan. It also warned of continuing heavy rains particularly for Lower Sindh and Southeast Balochistan. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), structural damages to houses and shops are most severe (94% of total) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) with official totals across all provinces as 6,919 (partially) and 1,656 (fully). Over the past few days, local authorities and organizations in rain-affected areas increased the frequency of reporting to the wider humanitarian community and media the situation, losses, and needs for assistance. Based on these reports and that the most recent days damages are not yet reflected in the NDMA report from many recently affected areas, the total damages and losses to life, livelihoods, and property are significantly greater than indicated by the aforementioned figures.

A state of emergency was declared for Dera Ghazi Khan (Punjab) and Rajanpur (Punjab), where the local authorities with military assistance initiated rescue efforts. Several thousand people were evacuated to higher elevated areas as flood waters inundated the city of DG Khan, flooding the hospital and other private and public offices. According to media, 75,000 people are displaced in the district of DG Khan.

In Sindh, rural and urban areas were badly affected by the rains and a rain emergency was declared. The highest recorded rainfall was in Jacobabad, but others areas including Kashmore, Sukkur, Kandhkot, Hyderabad, Badin, Gotki, and Shikarpur are also highlighted by various sources as badly affected. In eastern parts of Balochistan, several districts were cutoff when floodwaters submerged transportation routes in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad while Jhal magsi, Loralai, Khuzdar, Mastung, Zhob, Killa Saifullah, Kacchi and Sibi districts are also badly affected by the rains and floods in Balochistan Province. Military assistance is also underway in both provinces to evacuate people to higher ground and to provide relief assistance.

Common throughout rain-affected areas are disruptions in the power supply (sometimes lasting days), submerging and damages of roads and railways, collapsing rooftops and walls of houses and other buildings, and disruption of daily activities. Operations of hospitals, schools, transportation, and other services are also affected, placing greater risk to individuals living in these areas. Displaced and affected individuals currently require varying degrees of assistance which include evacuation, shelter, food, drinking water, medicines, and water removal from houses and lands.

At the moment, the military and district governments are responding to needs of their respective areas. However, close monitoring of the situation by the humanitarian community continues. The predicted continuing rains could instantly create an emergency situation in new areas or worsen the conditions in already affected areas to a degree beyond the capacity of local authorities and military.

CWS-P/A Response:


CWS-P/A is closely monitoring the situation and is in contact with local partners. It is actively involved in coordination and meetings through the cluster system, the ACT Pakistan Forum, and the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF). It is prepared to respond if the need arises, and if funding permits, and has a detailed contingency plan in effect for the 2012 monsoon season. A limited quantity of prepositioned relief items including shelter kits, hygiene kits, and medicines are available in its warehouses while the procurement department is immediately prepared to procure food and non-food items. CWS-P/A also has mobile health units, a mobile laboratory, and an ambulance which can be mobilized quickly.

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