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Event Details

Sea-level Rise event report

Category: Sea-level Rise
Observation: 06.07.2014
Continent: Asia
Country: Pakistan
State: State of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Area: Swat Valley
Location:
Severity: Hight
Event details
As the water levels in Kabul River continue to rise in Charsadda, the district authorities have asked around 250 families living in low-lying areas to evacuate and move to safer locations. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) official Muhammad Shoaib said on Saturday that the river overflowed its banks in several parts of the district and inundated agricultural lands. "Because of the rising water, 250 families living near the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway in Charsadda have been told to shift to higher ground," said Shoaib. According to the PDMA Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, a medium-level flood is being reported in Kabul River at Warsak and Nowshera with water discharge of 640,000 cusecs and 108,600 cusecs, respectively. Moreover, there is a low flood in the Indus River with the water inflow at Tarbela recorded at 265,000 cusecs and the outflow at 105,300 cusecs. The Swat River in Charsadda has a normal water flow level recorded at 24,906 cusecs. Last year, several rivers in the province flooded and caused damage to lives, private property and infrastructure. The flooded water bodies included the Swat River at Khiali, Charsadda Road as well as Takhtabad area, the Adezai River at Adezai Bridge, both Naguman River and the Budni Nullah at Charsadda Road, Jindi River in Charsadda and the Kalpani Nullah in Mardan and Chowki Risalpur. The Kabul River also wreaked havoc last year in Nowshera district. Floodwater entered Sheikhabad, Hassan Khail, Masal Road, Mohallah Shah Hussaini, Shaheedabad, Shala Khel and Kheshgi. Thousands of acres of agricultural land were swamped while residents had to evacuate and shift to safer places. Shoaib, the PDMA official, said this year a normal water flow has thus far been recorded at these points, however, heavy rains in the next 15 days could raise the levels. Residents of the areas near the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway in Charsadda have expressed concerns over the swelling river. Ishaq Khan, a local, said his family and neighbours are not able to sleep peacefully because they are afraid of the Kabul River which has been flooding for the past 10 days. "We suffered losses in floods earlier as well and the rising water levels this year are giving us sleepless nights," said Khan. Meanwhile, water levels in the provincial capital's rivers and streams are also increasing day by day. Residents are worried about possible floods and have demanded the district administration take tangible steps and build embankments in places under immediate threat. Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Zahirul Islam told The Express Tribune the district government is monitoring the flood situation daily. "We collect the data from the Met department and Irrigation department and are planning accordingly," said Islam. He added the district government is prepared to deal with any kind of calamity and has directed the PDMA to keep residents updated about flood levels as well. Floods have become a norm in the country during the monsoon since the massive 2010 floods. Every year, the government claims to be prepared to tackle any situation caused by rains, however, the claims turn out to be hollow promises and damage to human life and property remain unavoidable. The federal government was meant to establish an early warning system through the Public Sector Development Programme in various regions of K-P as a safeguard against future flood-related damages, however, the system has yet to be installed. A PDMA official told The Express Tribune in November last year that in the absence of proper warning systems the irrigation department is left with no choice but to monitor flood water levels manually. They are only able to give warnings once flood waters cross the points and standards used to measure water levels in rivers and streams. By that time, damage is inescapable.
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