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Recent rains improved river flows

15 August, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Recent rains have improved river flows, which have subsequently enhanced storage in major reservoirs of the country, and are likely to cause high to very high flood in the River Chenab at some major headworks, including Marala, Khanki and Qadirabad.

“According to latest hydrological conditions River Chenab at Marala, Khanki and Qadirabad is likely to attain high flood level in next 36 hours,” says a forecast issued by the Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) of the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

An official of the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) endorsed that the Marala, Khanki and Qadirabad might attain “very high flood (VHF)” level.

The designed capacity at these stations is about 1.1 million cusecs. When these stations attain 400,000-cusec level, the situation is described as VHF in terms of danger classification.

Meanwhile, the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) has advised the Punjab irrigation department and all other concerned organisations dealing with flood management to ensure required precautionary measures as per their contingency plans to prevent loss of precious human lives, besides damage to private and public property.

The wet spell is likely to continue up to 16th of this month, the FFC said.

It reported the River Chenab flowing at medium-flood level in Khanki-Qadirabad reach and low-flood level at Marala on Tuesday morning. It said the River Kabul was also flowing in low flood in Warsak-Nowshera reach. All other main rivers i.e. Indus, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej are currently flowing normal.

The two major reservoirs — Tarbela and Mangla — had achieved water levels 10.77 feet and 77.10 feet below their respective maximum conservation levels of 1,550 feet and 1,242 feet. The total combined live storage of the three reservoirs — Mangla, Tarbela and Chashma — was reported at 7.897 million acre feet (MAF), which is 57.72 per cent of the total storage capacity of 13.681MAF.

The total amount of water stored is, however, much lower than that of the same period last year when it stood at 12.88 MAF, or 38.66pc higher.

The FFC said Monday’s trough of westerly wave over northern parts of Pakistan lied over Kashmir on Tuesday and seasonal low also lied over north-western Balochistan and its trough extending north-eastwards. Also, moderate moist currents from Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are penetrating into upper parts of the country and a monsoon low has developed over north-western Bay of Bengal.

Under the influence of the current weather system, the FFD has predicted scattered thunderstorm and rain with isolated heavy falls over the upper catchments of Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej rivers and over Lahore, Rawalpindi and Gujranwala divisions of Punjab on Wednesday.

Scattered thunderstorm and rain with isolated moderate falls may also occur over the upper catchments of Indus and Jhelum rivers and over Sargodha, Faisalabad and Sahiwal divisions over the next 24 hours.

The FFC said the high-flood level could also be witnessed in local nullahs and tributaries of Ravi and Chenab rivers over the next 24 hours while water level in River Sutlej was likely to increase.

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