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May 21, 2019

Climate disasters

Newspost

 
May 21, 2019

There have been unprecedented wild fires in Australia and North America in recent years, the likes of which have not been seen in a long time. Mozambique and surrounding countries in East Africa have been devastated by cyclones and floods, killing and displacing large numbers of people. Rivers and lakes in Canada overflowed in 1917 in what was dubbed as the 'flood of the century' only to experience worse flooding just two years later. All scientists are agreed that the underlying cause is climate change and these events are going to intensify in the future. Most of Pakistan's populated and productive areas lie in the flood plains of rivers. Flooding was contained in the past half century by the reservoirs at Mangla and Tarbela. The latter have lost half of their storage capacity over the years. Chances are considerable that the Indus and its tributaries may overflow this year and more frequently again in the future. Prudence demands that one should prepare for this as much as possible now. You can't replace the lost water storage capacity overnight but you can make preparations to minimise damage caused by floods by strengthening the dykes along the river banks and making appropriate contingency plans for any breach that may occur. The time to do it is now before we get into the monsoon season.

K Hussan Zia

Lahore

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