Islamabad: Setting alarm bells ringing, the country recorded over 30 per cent less rainfall than usual in the last two months.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the summer months (May-June 2018) received seven per cent above normal rainfall, while it remained well below normal (-30.4 per cent) during monsoon months (July-August) and 24.4 per cent below normal during May-August period.
Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa remained the worst hit by rain shortage. The May-August rainfall remained 69 per cent below normal in Sindh, 49.9 per cent below normal in KP and 45.7 per cent below normal in Balochistan.
It however was 18.5 per cent above normal in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad and Jammu Kashmir and 8.4 per cent above normal in Punjab during the period. According to PMD director Ikramuddin, moderate drought-like condition has emerged in most southern parts of Pakistan due to deficient summer and monsoon rainfall,.
The moderate to severe drought is prevailing in most parts of Sindh (Tharparkar, Mityari, Hyderabad, Jacobabad, Dadu, Karachi, Kambar Shadadkot, Umerkot, Sanghar, Sajwal, Shaheed Benzairabad, Jamshoro and Khairpur), Balochistan (Dalbandin, Gwadar, Jiwani, Panjgur, Pasni, Nokkundi, Ormara, Quetta and Turbat), and mild to moderate drought at few places of south Punjab (Multan and Mianwali) and GB (Bunji, Chilas, Gilgit and Gupis).
He warned that drought conditions could get severe in the coming days especially in southern parts of the country. "Dry conditions will cause water stress in the cultivated lands/areas of the country due to limited supply of irrigation water for Kharif crops."
The weatherman said the water availability in Tarbela dam was at the maximum level but Mangla dam was almost half filled the maximum conservation level (almost 65 feet). He said small dams situated near Islamabad and ground water conditions had been significantly improved at most places of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
"Due to less water in Mangla reservoir and minimal expected rainfall during next three months, the water shortages are most likely for sowing of Rabi crops. Keeping in view the above scenario, it is advised to all stakeholders to be ready to handle the situation," he said.