Saturday September 18, 2021

‘Weather surveillance radar fully functional’

Islamabad: With the district administration blaming a cloudburst for the flooding of some private housing societies in Islamabad’s upscale E-11 sector on Wednesday morning, the weathermen insist that faulty drainage system contributes to the downpour-induced havoc.

“I don’t blame any housing society for the damage caused to public life and property in E-11 this morning but there’s no denying the fact that if sewerage and drainage systems don’t work properly or basic construction principles are compromised, then life turns upside down for many whenever it rains heavily,” Pakistan Meteorological Department director-general Muhammad Riaz told ‘The News’.

The rain lashed Islamabad from around 5am through 10am flooding streets. Private housing societies in E-11’s sub-sectors 1 and 4 near Golra area, were worst hit by the calamity. A swollen nullah caused the floodwater to enter houses and sweep away cars and trees.

After a visit to the area, deputy commissioner Hamza Shafqaat insisted that a cloudburst triggered flash floods. However, the residents didn’t subscribe to the claim and blamed a nearby unclean nullah for the havoc.

They told ‘The News’ that whenever they spoke to the managements of housing societies about the dredging and widening of the nullah, they’re told that under the laws, the civic agency CDA was to do the job and not they.

According to the PMD chief, 132mm rain fell in Islamabad’s Saidpur area, 107 in Golra and 77 in Zero Point and the rainy spell will continue until July 29. He said the ongoing monsoon weather phenomenon would last until August with rains expected to lash Islamabad, adjoining areas and other parts of the country.

Muhammad Riaz said the PMD’s modern weather surveillance radar was fully functional offering climatic forecasts for long periods of time.

“With the help of that radar, we formally disseminated the countrywide downpour forecasts and flood warnings to the relevant authorities on July 24 for preparedness and the National Disaster Management Authority did take measures to prevent or minimise damage to public life and property,” he said. The PMD chief said the weather radar was meant to forecast rain and not to stop it.