Flooding is one of the most universal natural hazards. Riverine floods are caused by precipitation over large areas or by melting of the winter’s accumulated snow, or by both. In fact, flooding is a natural hazard that is becoming a greater threat. It is a natural disaster which affects a wide range of environmental factors and activities related to agriculture, vegetation, human and wild life and local economies.
FLOODS IN PAKISTAN:
Floods are almost annual events in Pakistan. Pakistan has been experiencing floods mainly because of its topography, Sind, Kabul and swat are three hazard prone rivers, and due to climatic and ecological condition, Pakistan constantly received flooding every year. This is not a matter of concern every year. However, when floods exceed normal flooding level, they take dangerous turns. Many times in the history of Pakistan, floods took severe and sometimes catastrophic turns. In the past Pakistan experienced severe floods in 1973, 1992, 2006 and 2010. But 2010 flood breaks all past records. Latest Government estimates put the number of people directly affected by the floods at 15.4 million, and the number continues to rise (National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, 16 August).
Assessments to establish the degree to which affected populations are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance continue. The official death toll has risen to 1,402, with 2,024 people reported as injured. Over 893,000 houses are now reported to have been either damaged or destroyed.
Pakistan is one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the World. Natural disasters often result in great losses, both in terms of materials and people’s lives.
Due to its unique geo-climatic conditions, Pakistan is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Four provinces, AJK and Gilgit baltistan are vulnerable to one or the other geo-climatic disaster. Over 40% of landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes, 6% to cyclone, 60% to floods and 25% of the Barani land under cultivation is vulnerable to drought.
2010 extreme floods results the loss in terms of lives and assets have been incalculable. A disaster wipes out the gains achieved in decades of development in the affected area. Repeated disasters threaten sustainable development in Pakistan Disasters destroy decades of human effort and investments, thereby placing new demands on society for reconstruction and rehabilitation.
If one adds the losses in countries like Pakistan, where most of the property of the people, especially in the rural areas remains uninsured, the losses are astronomical.
The unique geo-environmental setting of the North Himalayas, the heavy rainfall, weak geological formations, accelerated rates of erosion followed by silting and meandering of rivers, very high seismicity makes the Northern area one of the most disaster prone regions in the country. Considering this, and the comparative inaccessibility, the North region demands special attention to minimize loss of lives and social, private and community losses and to ensure sustainable development.
Vulnerability to natural disasters combined with socio-economic vulnerability of the people pose a great challenge to the government machinery.
Recently Pakistan’s southern provinces, Balochistan and Sindh were severely affected by flash floods, from 26 June to 10 July 2007. The floods were caused by torrential rains, gushing water from high altitudes of Kirthar to plains of Sindh significantly contributed in flooding. Monitoring for floods requires monitoring of water level, current, and precipitation to record and trigger an alert based on these parameters.
IMPACTS OF 2010 FLASH FLOODING
Many houses and bridges have been destroyed due to flash flooding and also, due to the water accompanied debris, which mostly consists of timber logs, tree branches and uprooted trees of different sizes. The mass of debris has been created by destabilization of slope, the sub soil layer and vegetation over the same which is transported by the floodwaters. Mountainous watershed systems in northern Pakistan collectively send water to rivers leading downstream areas.
2010 FLOOD IN URBAN AREAS NOSHERA
The city of Noshera and few other urban areas of Punjab and Sind located in the flood plain of the swat and Sind Rivers badly destroyed by floodwater associated with heavy rain. The urban area is located in the catchments, In Noshera city debris flow and flooding caused damages and losses to shops, commercial centers and house hold items such as furniture, electronic items so on. The city transportation system, water supply, sewerage and drainage systems were also subjected to severe destruction or failure in functioning.
2010 flood is slow onset disaster in which damage to life and property is failure of NDMA and government of Pakistan because in slow onset disaster damages can be minimized if a country have system in place (like early warning system, hazard assessment, risk calculation etc). Political differences amongst federal and provincial governments leading the Flood 2010 disaster toward complex disaster.
If government of Pakistan and international community fail to manage or poorly managed 2010 flood disaster then it will resulted dire consequences for Pakistan and rest of the world .If we calculate the amount of damage, magnitude and spread of this disaster, there is a immediate need to manage this disaster properly, if serious steps will not be taken by Government, UN and donor countries the situation will create complex disaster which later on change into second disaster which not only affect Pakistan but the whole civilized world.
” FLOOD MONITORING IN PAKISTAN
Different organizations, govt institutions and NGO’s are working for flood monitoring in Pakistan. Thought this field is growing by leaps and bounds but organizations like SUPARCO, Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), World Metrological Organization (WMO) & (WAPDA) etc are playing an important role.
TRMM and ALOS data have been used for monitoring the event of floods. flooding along Kalpani River in Mardan district [34° 11/ N, 72° 03/] of Pakistan in August 2006 is considered here. It was observed that the flood had occurred because of high intensity rains in the last week of July and first two weeks of August 2006 in the region, affecting 136 villages in the district. The extraordinary rains also had flushed Hoti Bridge over Kalpani River causing casualties and damage to local houses and infrastructure in the district. using TRMM data, the rainfall intensity has been analyzed, from 1998 till 2006 for specific months of August for Mardan district. PALSAR (ALOS) images of pre-and-post flood events have been processed to determine the extent of flooding. Three polarizations HH, HV and HV combination of PALSAR images in RGB of post-and-pre flood could have effectively helped in distinguishing the wet areas in the affected district, but those were not available. PRISM (ALOS) data have been used for landuse / land cover map generation. SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) derived DEM has been used to extract the low lying areas along Kalpani River and hence was treated as the area under flooding.
The damage assessed by UNOSAT using data of Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) onboard Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) in combination with Tropical Rain Measurement Mission Satellite (TRMM) and other ancillary data greatly helped in finding the most affected areas. Also the unprocessed PALSAR images of pre and post flood periods downloaded from JAXA-ALOS site were used to assess change detection. As Pakistan is frequently affected by such disastrous situations, it is recommended that Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generated from Panchrometric Remote Sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) onboard ALOS along with other optical data can be effectively used for flood mapping along River Indus for identification of most vulnerable areas.
Flood Early Warning System in Pakistan
The signing ceremony of Strengthening of Flood Early Warning System in Pakistan project was held on July 12, 2011. The Grant Agreement was signed between Mr. Nishikata Takatoshi Representative, JICA Pakistan and Representative of the UNESCO in Pakistan, Dr Kozue Kay Nagata. The event was attended by Chairman SUPARCO Mr. Bilal Ahmad, Director General Pakistan Metrological Department Mr. Arif Mehmood and Chief of Water Planning Commission Mr. Naseer Ahmad Gillani. Officials from Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and Indus River System Authority (IRSA) also attended the event. the objectives of the project are:
1. Strategic Augmenting of Flood Forecasting and Hazard Mapping Capacity.
2. Knowledge Platforms for Sharing Transboundary and Community Data.
3. Capacity Development for Flood Forecasting and Hazard Mapping.
The International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management has developed a concise flood-runoff analysis system as a toolkit for more effective and efficient flood forecasting in developing countries. This system is called “Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS)”. A diagnostic hydrological analysis of floods in the Indus basin will be carried by UNESCO in cooperation with PMD and ICHARM staff to clearly outline the forecasting modelling needs. A detailed database comprising of the relevant spatial and temporal information will be prepared by UNESCO (local consultant) in cooperation with relevant Pakistan organizations and in coordination with ICHARM.
The project will benefit all flood-affected areas by working closely with all relevant departments of the Government of Pakistan. At the technical level the project is primary beneficiaries are the Pakistan Meteorological Department (especially its Flood Forecasting Division), Federal Flood Commission (FFC) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
FURTHER FLOOD MONITORING :
Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) has a broad mandate of supporting agro-based economic activities, air and maritime traffic safety, disaster mitigation efforts and disseminating weather forecasts to numerous end users;
With respect to fulfilling the disaster mitigation mandate World Metrological Organization (WMO) supports PMD in disseminating forecasts and advisories on cyclonic activity and other hazards over North Arabian Sea;
Other national actors whose capacities are utilized to reinforce Monsoon Hazards Early Warning are Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Provincial Irrigation Departments. Both monitor flood prone rivers /water channels’ flows and WAPDA deploys a time sensitive telemetry system for this purpose.
In addition Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), maritime agencies like Pakistan Navy, Maritime Security Agency (MSA) and air space users like Pakistan Air Force also reinforce monsoon weather and impact monitoring efforts;
Following devastating floods of 1992, national Flood Early Warning system was reinforced through creation of Lahore based Floods Forecasting Division, an affiliate organization of PMD. It is the national focal point for monsoon early warning dissemination and broadly its mandate covers:
· Dissemination of daily floods forecasts during the monsoon season
· Flood situation reporting like disseminating data on flood levels in various rivers
FFD based Riverine Floods Forecasting System benefits from the inputs of:
· Network of nation- wide weather forecasting radars;
· Doppler radars that provide quantified flood warning in the Kashmir catchment
· Telemetric system which transmits real time inputs on flood quantums;
· Satellite coverage which includes indigenous capacity, support from Chinese and WMD satellite network; and
· Flood information received from India as part of Indus Water Treaty
However, for tropical cyclone early warning PMD maintains Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre in Karachi and it is linked to WMO’s regional Warning Centre in New Delhi (India).
Brief Analysis of National Monsoon Hazards Forecasting System
· Vulnerable regions with respect to riverine floods early warning are: Upper KP (along rivers Kabul and Swat), Gligit Baltistan (GB), Upper AJK and where Chenab enters Pakistan in eastern Punjab. Early Warning for major floods in these areas span from 6-18 hours;
· Flood early warning coverage of Kabul and Indus catchments in upper KP is relatively weak;
· There is no effective early warning system in place for flash floods which tend to occur country wide: across GB, upper KP, upper AJK, along Indus Right Bank through KP, Punjab and Balochistan. Only one telemetry based system is deployed to early warn Rawalpindi of flash floods along Leh Nullah
· Past experiences affirm that accuracy of seasonal forecasts is tentative at best as accurate forecasts normally cover shorter periods: a fortnight or even less;
· Please note that PMD’s Monsoon Seasonal Forecast is anticipated before 10 June;
· However, past experiences affirm relatively more accurate tropical cyclone monitoring and land-fall predictions which facilitated proactive responses.
The special control rooms established to monitor possible flood situation in Nullah Leh have been put on high alert to cope with any emergency situation. According to the TMA sources, a special control room to monitor all arrangements and flood situation of Nullah Leh set up in the TMA building is working round the clock and monitoring the situation.
FLOOD FROM LENSE