According to an official letter from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan has been cautioned to prepare for a series of extreme climate events, including heat waves, snow melting, landslides, flash floods, forest fires, and cyclones. The letter, addressed to provincial governments, emphasizes the need for extraordinary preparations to cope with these potential events between April and October.
The NDMA has provided region-specific instructions to disaster management authorities and stakeholders, urging them to issue impact-based alerts and advisories to facilitate proactive preparations. The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) have been directed to monitor vulnerable “glacier lake outburst flood” (GLOF) sites and assess the impact of glacier melt on river flows downstream. These monitoring reports will be issued on a fortnightly basis.
The PMD has forecast higher temperatures in northern regions and along the coastal belt during the period from May to July. This information has been shared with the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) of Sindh, Balochistan, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
In addition, the NDMA recently issued an advisory alert to relevant federal and provincial departments in response to a rain-thunderstorm forecast from May 22 to 26. The PMD predicts the entry of a westerly wave into the western and upper parts of the country on May 22, likely persisting throughout the week. This weather system is expected to bring precipitation, with intermittent breaks, and may include wind-dust, thunderstorms, rain, hailstorms, and isolated heavy falls.
During this period, regions such as Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), GB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Punjab are likely to experience the mentioned weather conditions. Specific areas, including cities in Punjab and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), have been highlighted as prone to the forecasted weather. Sindh and Balochistan are also expected to witness wind dust or thunderstorms and rainfall from May 22 to 24.
Given the potential impact of these extreme weather events, it is crucial for all relevant authorities and departments to prioritize disaster preparedness measures. Timely dissemination of accurate information and proactive planning can significantly mitigate the risks associated with such events and safeguard lives and infrastructure.