‘Rains will bring doom as Pakistan ill-prepared’July 16th, 2012 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, July 16 (IANS) There are little signs that the rains this year will not leave behind a watery trail of doom in Pakistan, a daily said Monday while demanding that full-fledged evacuation plans be prepared and flood-warning centres be put on alert.An editorial in the News International said that the first rains of the 2012 monsoon season have begun to fall in some areas of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“So far these rains have been gentle and no damage has been reported. But of course they will soon gain in intensity and ferocity. We can all recall the havoc caused by monsoon in past years in many parts of the country,” it said.
“What are we doing now to meet the challenge? Is Pakistan prepared to deal with any disaster-like situation that may arise,” the daily asked and then responded: “There is certainly no sign of this.”
It went on to say that no plan has been announced as to what is to be done for people in general who may be affected by the rains and for those hit by the torrents which each year pour down hillsides in mountainous areas.
“People in danger need to know what to do and where to move if villages are flooded or if they live in locations near rivers. Organised camps need to be set up in advance and information circulated as to where they are located,” said the editorial.
Stressing that it was obvious that the country needs “full-fledged evacuation plans in case such measures become necessary”, it observed that in the past, evacuees have trudged for days in search of shelter and safety.
“International aid organisations have warned again and again of insufficient disaster preparedness. Addressing this problem in time will protect people from loss of lives, homes and land. The losses they suffered before had little impact on planning and, sadly, what seems likely even this time around is a replay of the tragedies we have seen before.
“Unless flood-warning centres and local administrations are put on alert, there is little hope that the rains this year will not leave behind a watery trail of doom,” it added.
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Tags: aid organisations, disaster preparedness, doom, evacuation plans, ferocity, flood, havoc, intensity, little signs, local administrations, losses, monsoon season, mountainous areas, news international, pakistan, punjab, replay, rivers, torrents, tragedies