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Monsoon emergency declared as minister warned of more rains

Senator Sherry Rehman, minister for Climate Change Friday, warned citizens of more rains — commencing today (Saturday) — after the federal cabinet announced a “monsoon emergency”.

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She tweeted on Friday: “According to the Pakistan Met Department, there will be more rains in the country next week. Islamabad, Kashmir, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, and Sindh will receive heavy rains between 6 and 9 August.

In addition, these areas, including Gilgit Baltistan, will experience high winds and storm showers from August 10 to 13. All federal and provincial agencies were encouraged to remain vigilant and take appropriate precautions. Meanwhile, all district commissioners and provincial governments should be mobilized to avoid loss of life.”

She said water levels in the Chenab, Jhelum, and Ravi rivers could increase with a flash flood risk in local rivers and nullahs in many cities in these provinces.

Travelers and tourists should travel taking into account weather conditions and exercise greater caution, particularly in the northern regions and Kashmir, as rainfall can cause landslides in the mountainous areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Galiyat, Murree, Chilas, Diamer, Gilgit, Hunza, Astore, Ghizer, and Skardu, she said.

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The minister said that the effects of climate change continue to worsen in the country because “we have experienced long heat waves, devastating floods from glacial lakes, and forest fires.”

She said that Balochistan recorded more than 600pc of above-normal precipitation during the monsoon season since mid-June, while Sindh received 500pc more.

“Big cities are warned against urban floods, prolonged power cuts, and sudden floods,” she added.

She also wrote that the federal government was assessing the damage caused by the rains and that the Prime Minister had visited many flood-affected areas himself along with the many ministerial committees.

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