ACT Alliance Alert: Monsoon rains cause death and damages across Pakistan

by Elisabeth Gouel | | ACT Alliance - Switzerland
Tuesday, 6 August 2013 15:37 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.




Monsoon rains cause death and damages across Pakistan

Geneva, 6 August 2013

1.    Brief description of the emergency and impact

Heavy monsoon rains have claimed over 80 lives across Pakistan, displaced hundreds, ravaged thousands of acres of standing crops and caused colossal damage to houses and infrastructure since 1 August 2013 .  In Balochistan, five districts– Jhal Magsi, Sibi, Jaffarabad, Loralai and Naseerabad have been affected, with Jhal Magsi and Loralai being the most severely hit.  In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Chitral is the worst-hit district, where hundreds of people have been rendered homeless. Flash floods have also damaged houses, irrigation canals and water and electricity supply systems in Bannu, Tank, Peshawar and Lakki Marwat districts. Nowshera has been put on high alert. In Punjab, the southern Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts have been badly affected by the monsoon rains and flooding. In Sindh, major flooding occurred in Karachi (Saadi Town and Safoora Ghoth) and caused the displacement of 300 families. 15 villages were inundated at Jang Shahi, District Thatta, due to a cloud burst.
2.    Why is an ACT response needed?

These rains and flooding signify the start of an active monsoon phase expected to persist in southern parts of the country over the next 24 to 36 hours. Weather forecasts indicate one or two more active monsoon spells expected in mid-August. Floodwaters will drain into the Indus River and hence make South Punjab and Sindh more vulnerable to riverine floods over the next 4-6 days, which may lead to further loss of life and property.

3.    National and international response

Government authorities in Pakistan continue rescue and relief activities in areas affected by heavy monsoon rains but have not requested for international assistance at this stage. The Balochistan Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has provided food packets, tents, non-food items and draining pumps to the affected districts. Local authorities in Jhal Magsi are working on fixing canal breaches and rehabilitating damaged roads. In Punjab, the district authorities, the army and the rescue service 1122 are rescuing and evacuating people from affected areas. The Punjab PDMA has sent food and tents to the affected areas. The Sindh PDMA has distributed tents, mosquito nets and draining pumps. The army is supporting the Karachi district authorities in rescue and pumping away water.  A state of emergency has been declared in Sindh since late on Saturday (3 August).  On 5 August 2013 international humanitarian organizations attended inter-cluster coordination meetings organized by the UN and agreed to monitor the current situation and make necessary preparations for immediate emergency response if requested by the Government.

4.    ACT Alliance response

ACT Pakistan Forum members Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan  (CWS-P/A), ICCO and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) are currently monitoring the situation and are in contact with their local partners to obtain updated information regarding recent flood emergency situation.

5.    Planned activities

ACT Forum member Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan  (CWS-P/A) has commenced with needs assessments in Sindh and in KP and based on initial findings, has begun mobilizing emergency relief items from its warehouses.   

6.    Constraints

Accessibility to the affected areas is currently difficult creating challenges for the Government and local agencies to reach the affected communities with the assistance needed.

Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (