Massive Rainfall Brings Deadly Floods to Pakistan

The monsoonal low across northern India and Pakistan has produced extreme amounts of rainfall over the last 48 hours, causing deadly floods in both countries. Pakistan’s Meteorological department said that parts of Azad Kashmir and Punjab saw over 30 cm (1 foot) of rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Further heavy rain has been forecast for the next 24 hours at least, affecting wide areas of Punjab province but also parts of Azad Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and also south east Sindh province.

Deadly Floods and Landslides

The heavy rain brought deadly floods and landslides to parts of northern Pakistan, in particular Punjab province. Local media reports say as many as 53 people have died in Punjab in flood related incidents, most of them in the provincial capital Lahore. The districts of Sialkot and Gujranwala have also been badly affected. Around 30 people have been injured in the province. Many of the fatalities were a result of collapsing roofs and buildings.

Elsewhere in the country, at least 17 people have died in flash floods in Azad Kashmir.

Severe flash floods struck in Indian Jammu and Kashmir from 02 September. Reports say at least 12 people have died and around 50 are missing.

Overflowing Rivers

The region could face yet further flooding in the next few days from overflowing rivers. Yesterday Pakistan authorities issued warnings for the River Chenab at Marala, Khanki and Qadirabad. Levels have already reached flood stage in all three locations since.

Levels of the River Jhelum at Rasu are today reported as reaching flood stage. The River Neelum is also said to be close to overflowing. Pakistan Meteorological Department Flood Forecasting Division said that River Ravi at Jassar is likely to reach medium to high flood level over the next 24 hours.

Rainfall Levels (according to WMO), 24 Hours between 03 and 04 September 2014

  • Lahore 168.9 mm
  • Sialkot 182.9 mm
  • Faisalabad 82.9 mm
  • Jhelum 78.1 mm

Pakistan Meteorological Department reported that in the 24 hours up to 08:00 on 05 September 2014, Palandri, Sudhanoti District, in Azad Kashmir saw 668 mm of rain. Kallar Kahar, Chakwal District, Punjab, saw 347 mm.

Rainfall forecast to 05 September 2014 in Pakistan and north west India. Image: Pakistan Meteorological Dept
Rainfall forecast to 05 September 2014 in Pakistan and north west India. Image: Pakistan Meteorological Dept

Previous Flood Disasters in Pakistan

Around this time last year Pakistan suffered similar flooding which left over 130 dead and 13,262 houses destroyed.

In 2010, Pakistan suffered the worst floods in its history. The flooding that year began in July. As many as 1,800 people died and at one point 20% of the country’s landmass was under water, with over 20 million people affected.

Flooding in Punjab Province, Pakistan from 2010. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Flooding in Punjab Province, Pakistan from 2010. UN Photo/Evan Schneider