Chinese experts team unveils preliminary report on Pakistan flood
ISLAMABAD, Oct 22 (Gwadar Pro) - A delegation of visiting Chinese disaster management experts on Friday (21st) presented its preliminary report on damages caused by the recent flash floods in Pakistan and suggested measures to prevent similar disasters in the future.
The 11-member delegation, led by Xu Xianbiao from the Department of Flood Control and Drought Relief, Ministry of Emergency Management of China, presented the report after visiting various flood-hit areas of Pakistan. The delegation also included experts from the Ministry of Water Resources of China, and the Meteorological Administration of China.
The report stated that the most heavy rainfall since 1961 hit 84 districts, or one-third of the total area of Pakistan, affecting nearly 33 million people, or one-seventh of the total population of the country. The report said that Pakistan was unable to cope with the post-disaster situation alone. It stated that southern parts of the country are still inundated, and that waterlogged areas are prone to infectious diseases and people have no access to clean drinking water. Homeless people living in shelters are in dire need of emergency relief. Crops on vast lands are destroyed and food shortage and hunger are imminent, the report stated.
The Chinese team leader Xu Xianbiao also shared China’s practical experience of flood control. He said that the team will soon come up with its detailed report, and hoped that the Chinese and Pakistani authorities will join hands to cope with the situation.
The report called for further improved relief activities to ensure that the affected people have food, clean water, clothing, medical aids and shelter. The report called for speeding up the drainage in waterlogged areas and giving priority to the restoration of lifeline installations, including power and transportation infrastructure as well as restoring the order of production and livelihood in flood-hit areas. The report called for actively seeking international support for the restoration of housing infrastructure as soon as possible while avoiding areas vulnerable to mountain torrents, geological disasters and floods in small and medium rivers. The report also called for the restoration of meteorological, hydrological and other water-damaged facilities.
In the mid-term, the report suggested an integrated Indus Basin-wide flood control plan and improving flood protection layout by building reservoirs upstream, diverting flood water middle stream and expanding drainage capacity downstream. The report called for incorporating major flood control projects in the national strategic plan, including flood control reservoirs, embankment reinforcement and capacity lifting, lake management and expansion of drainage projects. The report also suggested the development of a national flood forecasting and early warning system based on big data technologies, improving application and early warning capabilities of satellite, radar and other monitoring systems, establishing community-oriented national mountain torrents disaster monitoring and early warning system, formulating a community-based evacuation plan and household know-how to enhance people’s awareness of disaster prevention and emergency response.
In the long-term, the report suggested dike reinforcement and upgrading capacity in key areas, and building flow control and guidance projects in the unstable river reach the lower reaches of the Indus River. It also advises optimising and strengthening the standing mechanism of flood control command and coordination in the Indus River Basin and continuing to promote the holistic management of the whole process and the unified regulation and control of the whole basin.