Storm Safety

In light of recent rain-related tragedies in Pakistan, our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones and suffered from the devastating effects of the harsh weather across the country. The loss of life and disruption caused by these natural disasters is deeply concerning, and we must be compelled to address this problem for the coming future as predictions do not seem to be forgiving either.

The last few days have seen strong downpours in Punjab, Balochistan, and KP, causing 24 deaths and multiple injuries due to rain-related incidents and damage to the infrastructure in these areas. As rains are predicted to persist, it is crucial that all citizens take steps to prioritise their safety and take the precautions that they can. Simple steps like staying indoors during heavy rainfall, avoiding flooded areas, and refraining from unnecessary travel can significantly reduce the risk of harm.

While individuals must remain vigilant, we must urge our governments, particularly in regions like Sindh and Karachi, to enhance their response strategies for such recurring events. Historically speaking, even the slightest bit of rainfall in areas like Karachi has wreaked havoc due to inadequate infrastructure and drainage systems, and investing in improved drainage systems, reinforced embankments, and early warning systems, is essential to minimise the loss of life.

We must avoid the reactionary approach we have had to weather-related incidents in the past and take these proactive steps, collaborating with informed bodies like the Climate Change Ministry, that can aid the government with its urban planning and clearing of water channels to mitigate the risk of flooding in urban areas. We must act now, because the worst is still yet to come. Between the months of June and August of 2023, we lost nearly 200 individuals due to heavy rains and flash floods across Pakistan. We cannot afford to let figures like this reappear this year as we approach the upcoming monsoon season, as it has historically been one of the most deadly periods for Pakistan.

Collaboration between government agencies and preventative measures by citizens will go a long way to address this problem, but we must remember that these are predictable events that we are aware of each year. Our disaster management should appropriately be proactive rather than the knee-jerk reactions we have seen throughout the past.

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