Rain & Flood
The increase in sea surface temperature trends in the Arabian sea and Indian ocean is obvious during the last decade. This year, the northern Arabian Sea was up to 2- 3°C warmer than usual in August. This makes the air above warmer, humid, and unstable. This causes a huge amount of moisture to be available along with the coastal areas of Pakistan. This moisture was further coupled with the low-pressure areas of the Bay of Bengal and the western disturbances, and that triggered the heavy precipitation in coastal and other regions of Pakistan.
The province of Sindh has historically suffered from both natural and manmade disasters. The topography of Sindh Province is almost flat and located at the bottom of the Indus basin. The surplus water of the Indus River and its tributaries including monsoon has to pass through Sindh. Hill torrents that emanate from Balochistan are also adding up to the pressure on both accounts, till its outfall in the Arabian sea. The River Indus in Sindh is dangerous because it flows at a ridge. In case of a breach, the outflowing water cannot be drained back into the river at any point. The Indus River is also popular for changing its course. High floods since the creation of the modern irrigation network in 1932 are being monitored. The river Indus is contained by flood protection embankments which are 1400 miles, to protect the irrigation network emanating from three barrages having 12.8 million acres of command area. Besides, there is a large network of surface drainage and 6000 public tube wells, roads, railways network, cities/towns, rural settlements, etc. The high floods occurred in 1942, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Some of the most destructive rains include the 2003 monsoon in Sindh that affected around 411,000 acres of crop area, while 18,500 kilometers of road infrastructure suffered huge losses. Roughly losses are estimated at around 45 billion rupees. This estimate includes irrigation, infrastructure, and house damages. Karachi Pakistan observed intense rainfall in August 2020 and associated unprecedented urban flooding over the area caused causalities and heavy loss of property. The maximum rainfall observed was on 28th August around 121.9 mm/day. The total rainy days in this month were 16 and the highest recorded rain was 121.9 mm/day. Long-lasting and heavy monsoon rains have been recorded in 2022, and since June have claimed more than 800 lives in Sindh to date. Flash floods swept away houses, roads, and bridges. In many villages, people are cut off from all help. According to the government, which has declared a state of emergency, more than 80% population has been affected by the floods. Almost 8 million people had to leave their homes and are now homeless or living in emergency shelters. They have hardly any access to clean drinking water. Their crops have been destroyed, food is scarce, and hunger is looming. The situation remains tense weeks after the disaster, with large parts of Sindh still under water. Standing water is already a breeding ground for infectious diseases. Diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, and malaria are spreading and endangering even more lives. The disaster after the disaster is looming.
PROTECT HEALTH DURING FLOOD:
There are several diseases that can be transmitted through floods, including typhoid fever, cholera, malaria, and yellow fever, among others. In times of flooding, it is vital that you protect your water sources and are aware of the risks associated with them. The most common risks associated with flooding are the formation of standing water, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes as well as a potential source of chemical hazards.
Be familiar with the evacuation route and warning signals in your neighborhood, as well as the areas that are susceptible to flooding or landslides.
After flooding, the most important preventive measure to reduce the risk of water-borne disease outbreaks is to chlorinate or boil all drinking and food preparation water.
Practice good hygiene and prepare food properly by staying away from floodwaters when washing dishes, brushing your teeth or preparing food. Once you have been in contact with floodwater, you should wash your hands with soap and water.
It is advisable to avoid walking through flooded areas or driving through standing water, there can be considerable dangers associated even with a small amount of water. The water may contain hazardous chemicals or electrical lines that have fallen. Also, floods can easily sweep away cars and people.
Use mosquito repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes if you live in an area with standing water or stagnant water. Follow the directions on the label. Cover your bed with mosquito nets when sleeping, and wear trousers and long sleeves.