Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in response to the Met Office forecast of above-average rains, instructed PDMA, irrigation and other relevant departments to develop a contingency plan to manage anticipated riverine floods.

‘I want proper coordination between all the concerned departments and agencies, including law enforcement and the Pak Navy so that timely action can be taken in case of any emergency,’ he said in a meeting held here on Monday.

The meeting was attended by several provincial ministers including Sardar Shah, Saeed Ghani, Mohammad Bux Khan Mahar, Jam Khan Shoro, Makhdoom Mahboob, Chief Secretary Asif Hyder Shah, various department secretaries, Mayor Sukkur Nauman Shaikh, DG PDA Salman Shah, Chief Met Dr. Sarfraz, a representative from COMKAR, and Commissioners of different Divisions via video link.

Dr. Sarfraz from the Met Office explained to the CM that the monsoon typically begins in Pakistan on July 1st and continues until mid-September. He outlined various factors influencing monsoon rains in Pakistan, such as Sea Surface Temperatures (SST of Pacific and Indian Oceans), Sub Tropical High/Tibetan High (STH/TH), Tropical Easterly Jet (TEJ), Heat Low-pressure area, Low-level Jet (LLJ), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), and Indian Ocean High (IOH) pressure area. He also mentioned that the differential heating of land and adjoining oceans causes Low-pressure formation over land and High-pressure over the ocean.

The copernicus climate change service’s multi-model ensemble forecast for July to September indicates wetter-than-average precipitation with a 60-70% probability, and WMO multi-model predicts a wetter-than-average June to September 2024 season with a 60-70% probability over Sindh. On July 8th, at the CM House in Karachi, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in response to the Met Office forecast of above-average rains, instructed the Irrigation department to develop a contingency plan to manage anticipated Riverine floods.

The Copernicus climate change service’s multi-model ensemble forecast for July to September indicates wetter-than-average precipitation with a 60-70% probability, and WMO multi-model ensemble lrf predicts a wetter-than-average June to September 2024 season with a 60-70% probability over Sindh.

Urban flooding (Karachi): The Chief Minister mentioned that most of the rainwater in Thado Nai is stored in Thado Dam. The excess water from the dam and Konakar Nai flows into the Malir River near Shafi village after crossing the M9 motorway near Dumba Goth.

Mr. Shah also noted that the rainwater from Lat Nai, after overflowing from Lat Dam, affects Sadi Garden, Gulshan Usman, Sadi town, and other areas when it spills over the M-9 motorway near the Northern bypass during heavy downpours in Karachi. To address urban flooding, the Sindh Irrigation Department has built eight small dams in the basin of Lat Nai, in addition to the existing dams.

Irrigation dept: Minister Irrigation Jam Khan Shoro briefing the CM said that the flood mechanism in Sindh was derived from three sources – the Indus River, Hill Torrents and the monsoon rainfall-induced floods.

The Indus as known through the records, documented by Greek Army from 300-B.C to 1932, swing across the entire province of Sindh and has built its’ surface.

The Indus today is in a comparatively tame state, and its bed ar continuously rising with the sediment deposition due to low and short-duration floods increasing the vulnerability of flood-protection dykes.

Secretary Irrigation Zarif Khero said that the Lower Indus presents the greatest flood management problem in Pakistan. Being at the downstream end of the river system, flood levels are at their highest, flood volumes are at their largest and flood durations are at their longest.

The CM was told that the medium stages at Guddu and Sukkur Barrages were 3.5 to 5 lc cusecs while at Kotri It was 3 to 4 lc cusecs. High flood at Guddu and Sukkur was 5 to 7 lac cusecs and 4.5 to 6.5 at Kotri. Very High flood is termed 7 to 9 lac cusecs at Guddu and Sukkur and 6.5 to 8 lac cusecs at Kotri. Super flood is above 9 lac cusecs.

Vulnerable points: Secretary Irrigation disclosed that at Guddu Barrage there were 10 vulnerable points, Sukkur Barrage Right Bank 22 points, Sukkur Barrage Left Bank 36 points and Kotri Barrage 28 points. At this, the CM calculated that there total of 104 vulnerable points.

To a question, the Minister of irrigation told the CM that the emergency works were under execution along the River Bunds. They include the construction of J-Spur along SM Bund where stone studs, pitching and an apron were being done.

The CM directed the Irrigation department to inspect all its loop bunds, River Bubnds, hill torrent bund, and Reservior Bunds such as Manchhar Containing Bund, Keejhar Lake Bund and Chotiari Bunds.

The Chief minister discussing Manchhar Basin said that it was situated at the southern end of the Sukkur Right Bank Command between the bund and the foothills of the Kirthar Range, Manchhar Lake is the ultimate collecting ground for an extensive drainage catchment of 37,500 square miles embracing the whole right bank of the Indus Valley.

Hamal Lake gathers flood water coming from Northerly Kachhi plain draining 26,000 square miles through Indus tributaries namely Nari-Bolan and several small rivers.

Shah directed the Irrigation dept to speed up its ongoing works along the bunds inspect all the vulnerable points and start strengthening them.

PDMA: Minister Rehabilitation Makhdoom Mahboob briefed the CM and said that the riverine flood has been ascertained through Seasonal Hydrological Forecast. He added that there is a 95 per cent chance of high flows in the Indus River.

Rains in July may be violent accompanied by thunderstorms, and heavy showers of short duration. However, spells in August are likely to be calm, connected, consecutive and long duration therefore, more dangerous because natural depressions, drainage systems and soil permeability are likely to be saturated with earlier spells held during July, Makhdoom said. He added that the PDMA has made necessary preparations in advance.

DG PDA Salman Shah said that 251,834 that they have tents, chatais, water coolers, portable toilets, water tanks, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and ration bags. He added that the PDMA was assessing the gaps and purchasing the shortfall items in case of their need.

The CM directed the Irrigation, PDMA and local govt departments to establish close coordination and also keep the law enforcement agencies, including the Navy in the loop.