PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

The Global Social Network

Drought-Stricken Pakistan Receives Heaviest Snowfall in 48 Years

Pakistan is seeing an unusually wet winter this year after a very long drought. The country's northern areas received up to 1.8 and 2.1 m (6 and 7 feet) snowfall in January and the first week of February 2019, the heaviest in 48 years. Other parts of the country have seen torrential rains and flooding that required launching of relief efforts by Pakistani military and national and provincial disaster management agencies.

Pakistan Rain and Snow. Source: AccuWeather

Abdul Wali Yousafzai, a senior officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa irrigation department told Anadolu Agency that the "snowfall and rain will not only help to raise our water table but also be beneficial for our forests that had been affected by drought".  Prime Minister Imran Khan also welcomed it as "a blessing from God".  "The rainfall will raise the water table while the snow will melt into our river. It's a blessing from God," he said.

Unusually wet weather in arid Balochistan has caused deaths, injuries, property losses and displacement of people. At least 13 people are dead and dozens have been injured in the province. In addition, 1,970 houses having collapsed, 565 buildings partially damaged and 227 shops destroyed, according to Balochistan Disaster Management Agency.

Lack of rain and snow has caused recurring droughts in Pakistan since 2000 hitting hard the local population in many parts of Pakistan, Islamic Relief NGO reported February 11. The situation since 2013 has been particularly alarming due to 74% decrease in rainfall impacting hard on water management, agriculture, livestock, health, food security and livelihoods. It is in this context that the heavy snow and rains are being welcomed in the country. This offers at least temporary relief in a drought-stricken land.

The big picture is that Pakistan remains beset by a severe water crisis that could pose an existential threat if nothing is done to deal with it.  The total per capita water availability is about 900 cubic meters per person, putting the country in the water-stressed category. Agriculture sector uses about 95% of the available water. There are significant opportunities to achieve greater efficiency by using drip irrigation systems being introduced in Punjab. The New Water Policy of 2018 is a good start but it requires continued attention with greater investments and focus to deal with all aspects of the crisis.

Here's a video discussion on the subject:

https://youtu.be/nrfF3ppBzpo

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Winter Sports in Pakistan

Groundwater Depletion in Pakistan

Water Scarce Pakistan

Cycles of Drought and Floods in Pakistan

Pakistan to Build Massive Dams

Dust Bowl in Thar Desert Region

Dasht River in Balochistan

Views: 125

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 18, 2019 at 10:54am

Experts expect bumper crop in #Pakistan's South #Punjab region after unprecedented winter rains. The under-cultivation area for #wheat has increased to 6,594,000 acres of land this year compared to 6,507,000 acres last year. #agriculture #water https://nation.com.pk/18-Mar-2019/experts-hope-bumper-crop-in-south...


Water in #Tarbela to touch dead level but more snowmelt to help. Reservoir had sufficient level of #water in January onward due to more #rain. From Jan 29, #IRSA transferred rainfall’s benefit to the provinces by reducing water shortages from 38 to 32% https://www.dawn.com/news/1470142

#Pakistan farmers rejoice as heavy rains raise hopes for bumper #wheat #harvest in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa #KP. #agriculture https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/441443-farmers-rejoice-as-heavy-ra...

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 2, 2019 at 10:49am

Pakistan set for bumper wheat crop this season in wake of belated rains

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/446979-pakistan-set-for-bumper-whe...

Pakistan is likely to have a fairly good wheat crop this year as belated rainfalls and unexpected snowfalls replenished water supplies for winter crops, official data showed on Thursday.

However, conclusive forecasts could be made by end of the current month.

Indus River System Authority (Irsa) revised down water shortage for winter crops to less than 30 percent from 38 percent earlier projected for the October-March period due to below normal rains in the October-December period that dampened outlook for wheat and other crops.

More than expected snowfall and belated rains replenished water supplies. Rabi shortfall is likely to drastically come down owing to better river water availability.

Extraordinary long cold weather and wet conditions provide excellent conditions for wheat crop.

The positive impact of such conditions outweighed sporadic negative effects.

There have been several rain spells coupled with hailstorms since mid-January. Inundation of fields led to yellowing of leafs which is basically an indication of zinc deficiency. Such conditions used to be witnessed in paddy fields where abundance of water used to create zinc deficiency. Leaf rust disease in wheat fields in several northern and central districts in patches was also an outcome of such peculiar weather conditions in which cold temperatures, cloudy days and high humidity provide perfect recipe for spread of rust.

Windy conditions in the last few days are, however, adding to the miseries of farmers as they result in lodging of standing wheat crop in various districts.

The flattened wheat plants could reduce yield at an advance stage.

Sowing of sugarcane has been delayed due to wet conditions and it is feared that most of the crop would be delayed. Planting of spring corn is also facing delays as sowing is not possible in the wet fields. Harvesting of potatoes also came to standstills due to persistent wet weather. In some areas, it is being reported that ripen potatoes are spoiled because of soaked soil.

Sowing of water melon also got affected as a result of sustained rainy weather. Planting of peanut is also done in March but could not be initiated due to unfavourable weather.

The rare weather swing — from dry in early Rabi season to wet conditions – may have some implications for wheat but overall it supports agronomy of the crop. Rains also help address water shortage both for wheat and gram crops as well. The overall impact, however, is yet to be assessed by the official quarters.

From March 24, it is likely that mercury would surely surpass 30-centigrade threshold, which is not good for wheat. Till end of March, temperature should be below that for optimal maturity of crop. A weather alert said a heat wave is being anticipated as an anti cyclone is forming over South Pakistan, due to which hot winds would travel from Indian state of Rajasthan to South Punjab and Sindh.

The hot northeasterly winds would be responsible for increase in day temperatures between March 26 and 30. South Punjab and many parts of Sindh would see steep rise and maximum temperature may reach 38°C-40°C, paving way for extremely uneasy weather conditions which may not good for wheat and other crops.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 14, 2019 at 4:31pm

No relief in sight from extreme #heatwave of 40.6 C to 43.3C in #Pakistan. Cyclone Vayu is offsetting the normal onshore winds and causing offshore winds, allowing heat to build in #Karachi and other cities Pakistan, and over the border into western #India https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/weeks-long-heat-wave-ti...

Cyclone Vayu will not be helping to bring relief to the heatwave in parts of Pakistan, where above-normal temperatures are unlikely to let up at least until the end of June. Temperatures were hot there this week -- the mercury climbed to 107 F on Thursday and AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures ranged from 105 F to 110 (40.6 C to 43.3) in recent days.

The counterclockwise wind flow around Cyclone Vayu is offsetting the normal onshore winds and causing offshore winds, allowing heat to build in Karachi and other cities Pakistan, and over the border into western India, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

It's unusual for Pakistan to have offshore winds at this time of the year.

Temperatures have risen abnormally high levels in parts of Pakistan and spilled into western India, the southwestern monsoon that usually cools the region lagging behind schedule.

One of the hottest locations in Pakistan, the city of Jacobabad, hit at least 100 degrees F (37.8 C) on all but two days in May. And the scorching temperatures have continued this month. Every day in June has been above 100 degrees so far for the city, which kicked off the month with a sweltering 124 degrees (51.1 C) on June 1 and 2. This peak in temperature was 4 degrees shy of Pakistan's all-time national high of 128.3 degrees F (53.5 C), and 3 degrees shy of the city's record high.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 16, 2019 at 5:05pm

More than 150 killed as #monsoon floods sweep away homes and people in #SouthAsia. Death toll: #Nepal 67, #India 50, #Bangladesh 34, #Pakistan 23 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/monsoon-season-2019-floods-india-nepal... via @CBSNews

New Delhi, India -- Torrential monsoon rains swept away homes and triggered landslides across South Asia, affecting millions of people and claiming at least 180 lives, officials said Tuesday. The monsoon is crucial for irrigation and groundwater supplies in the impoverished region -- home to a fifth of the world's population -- and brings relief after the unforgiving summers. But the downpours from June to September can turn deadly and have wreaked havoc again this year.


Across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, people, dwellings and boats in remote low-lying areas have been washed away.

Nepal
In Nepal, at least 67 people have died although flood waters have started receding. Images showed rescuers using inflatable dinghies to evacuate families trapped in flooded houses.

India
Nearly 50 people have been killed in India, with two eastern states -- Assam and Bihar, which borders Nepal -- bearing the brunt of the deluge. Authorities in Assam declared a red alert Monday as the flood situation turned critical, with villages cut off by surging waters and a major highway submerged.

Photos showed residents crammed in boats carrying their belongings to safer areas in Morigaon, one of the worst-affected districts, and just the roofs of submerged homes above water. So far 11 people have died in the state and some 83,000 people displaced by flooding.

INDIA-DISASTER 
Indian fire brigade personnel and rescue workers look for survivors after a building collapsed in Mumbai, July 16, 2019.
GETTY
In the jam-packed industrial hub of Mumbai, the rains caused a four-storey residential building to collapse -- a regular occurrence in the country where loosely-enforced building regulations leave many edifices standing on weak foundations. 

Officials rushed to dig any survivors out of the rubble. Three people were quickly removed and transported to an area hospital, but their conditions were unclear. At least two people were confirmed dead, and local politician Amin Patel told The Associated Press at the scene that there was "still a chance of about 10 to 12 families trapped under the rubble."

Patel said national military and rescue teams were on their way to join in the frantic rescue efforts.

Authorities also scrambled to reach animals marooned by the deluge at the state's World-Heritage listed Kaziranga National Park, which is home to two-thirds of the world's one-horned rhinos.


In Bihar, 24 deaths were reported, with 2.5 million residents affected.


Among the dead were three children who drowned as they went to check the rising water level in a canal. Two others died while playing near a ditch filled with floodwater, the Press Trust of India reported.

Bangladesh
At least five children drowned in Bangladesh on Monday, taking the toll in the country to 34, including 18 hit by lightning and seven who drowned after their boat capsized in choppy waters in the Bay of Bengal.


Hundreds of thousands have been marooned by floodwater in the country's north, with one of the major Himalayan rivers, the Brahmaputra, swollen to 40 inches above the "danger level," officials said.

Pakistan
Further northwest, in the Pakistan-administered part of the Kashmir region, flash floods killed 23 people and damaged 120 houses, with the water and power supplies crippled.

The United Nations said Monday it "stands ready to work with the authorities in the affected countries as they respond to the humanitarian needs resulting from this ongoing monsoon season."

Comment

You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal


Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!




    Blog Posts

    Two of 265 India-Linked Anti-Pakistan Fake News Sites Located in Pakistan

    Researchers at Europe's Disinfo Lab have uncovered a network of 265 online news sites in 65 countries, including Pakistan, using the names and brands of defunct newspapers from the 20th century to push anti-Pakistan media coverage inside the regular news cycle. Two of these sites are located in Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore, according to Disinfo Lab's report. They are linked to …

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2019 at 1:00pm

    South Asian Contrast: Ayodhya and Kartarpur

    November 9, 2019 will go down in South Asian history as a day of sharp contrasts: While Pakistan restored and opened Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur for Sikh pilgrims, the Indian Supreme Court ordered the construction of a Hindu temple on the site where Babri Masjid stood for centuries. Can India and its western apologists still claim to have shared values?…

    Continue

    Posted by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2019 at 8:30pm — 1 Comment

    © 2019   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service