EXCLUSIVE NPTV PHOTO
LAHORE: The Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) forewarns that secluded heavy downpour is expected to hit upper districts including Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore divisions and Kashmir in the next 24 hours.
Yesterday (Wednesday 11th of July) Sialkot and some Azad Kashmir vicinities received heavy falls. According to details, the subsequent monsoon moist spells from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea yet again turning their ways towards upper parts of the state.
They have already entered upper parts of the country up to 5,000 feet and are expected to boost more in the next 24 hours. The FFD officials further went on to assert that a fresh westerly wave is also expected to penetrate in upper parts of the country, bringing prolong phase of rains with the moisture.
It has further been learned that the said system is likely to give rain-thundershowers with gusty winds in the localities of Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Hazara divisions, Islamabad and Kashmir, whilst scattered and isolated places such as Malakand, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Sahiwal divisions, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan will also be affected by the spell within next 24 hours.
It is pertinent to mention here the Met department had already forewarned the concerned officials pertaining the monsoon moist currents as the upper parts are expected to receive heavy downpours throughout the monsoon season. This is the best opportunity to secure water for this water-starved nation.
However, the political parties are busy in wooing people to claim that seat, whereas caretaker government, ostensibly with the intention to hold peaceful and rigging-free elections, is engaged keeping a watchful eye on the activities of politicians. One wonders what would happen to the common people who will have to bear the brunt of Mother Nature.
Interestingly, authorities who had so far failed to solve the water problem of the country are expecting that early rains would raise the falling levels at the reservoirs!
Record heat broils Japan, prompting warnings
TOKYO: Japanese officials issued new warnings Monday as a deadly heatwave blankets the country, producing record high temperatures in Tokyo just two years before the city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Officials said last week that the heatwave had killed at least 15 people and forced the hospitalization of over 12,000 others in the first two weeks of July. But the death toll may be more than double that, with Kyodo News agency reporting 11 people died on Saturday alone across Japan. An updated official toll is expected later this week.
The heatwave has toppled temperature records across the country, with Kumagaya in Saitama outside Tokyo setting a new nationwide record on Monday with temperatures hitting 41.1 Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit). And in western Tokyo’s Ome, temperatures hit 40.3 degrees Celsius, the first time temperatures over 40 have been recorded in Tokyo’s metro area.
Records fell at 13 other observation stations across the country, with more than a dozen cities and towns seeing temperatures around 40 degrees, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. “People in areas where temperatures are as high as 35 degrees or higher should be extremely careful” to avoid heatstroke, meteorological agency official Minako Sakurai told AFP. “And even at lower temperatures, the heat can be dangerous for small children and elderly people, and depending on the environment and activities you are doing,” she warned.
“People should be all the more careful as many people must be exhausted after days of cruelly hot weather,” she added. Yoshihide Suga, a top government spokesman, warned that extremely hot days “are expected to continue until early August.” Japan’s disaster management agency has urged people to use air conditioning, drink sufficient water and rest often while at work. The heatwave follows record rainfall that devastated parts of western and central Japan with floods and landslides that killed over 220 people.
Japan’s summers are notoriously hot and humid, and hundreds of people die each year from heatstroke, particularly the elderly in the country’s aging society. But this year’s record temperatures have surprised residents and officials alike and revived concerns about the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in July and August in Tokyo. Olympic officials and Tokyo’s local government are touting measures from solar-blocking paint on roads to mobile misting stations to tackle the heat.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike acknowledged Monday that the recent heatwave was “exactly like living in a sauna. For the athletes, they’re trained but for spectators who are cheering on the road, we may not necessarily be able to say the same,” she said at a Monday press conference. “Countermeasures against heat is one of the major pillars for the success of the 2020 Olympics.”
Crocodile in Paradise: Thailand hunts reptile in resort town
PHUKET: Thailand is in hot pursuit of a cagey crocodile that has made unwelcome appearances off the beaches of resort island Phuket only to slip through the clutches of local authorities.
The evasive reptile was first seen near Rawai beach about a week ago but has resurfaced in multiple locations near the beaches on the Andaman Sea.
A group of hunters has joined an expanding team trying to track it down. Thawee Thongchai, the mayor of Karon town on the west coast of Phuket, told AFP Monday they had come very close to success.
“We almost caught it when it was seen near the beach in Karon, (we were) meters away but it moved quickly back to the sea,” Thawee said.
“We do not yet know where it comes from.” Thailand’s pristine beaches draw millions of tourists a year and Phuket in the southwest is one of the most popular destinations.
Thawee said choppy monsoon seas had prevented fishing boats from using nets to capture the creature, which is almost two meters in length.
The Siamese crocodile was once ubiquitous across Southeast Asia but is currently listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist, and lecturer at Kasetsart University said the presence of a crocodile in Phuket meant it was likely a hybrid saltwater version of the species bred on a farm, and it was not the first such sighting.
“Normally the open sea is not a place where a crocodile would live,” he said. Crocodile numbers in Thailand and Southeast Asia generally have been decimated by habitat loss, commercial hunting for the skin trade and the capture of live reptiles to stock crocodile farms, according to the IUCN. In Thailand, there are just a handful of wild populations in central and western national parks.
A French tourist was bitten on the leg by a crocodile inside a Thai national park in January last year when she tried to get close to take a selfie.
In 2014 a Thai woman committed suicide by leaping into a pond of crocodiles at a farm popular with tourists on Bangkok’s outskirts.
European heatwave brings drought, wildfires
LONDON: Wildfires in the Arctic Circle, drought-stricken farmers and a spike in hospital treatment for sunburn: an unusually long heatwave this summer has northern Europe in its grip.
Farmers across the region have warned that crop yields will be down while poor grass quality is affecting the quality of milk and the availability of animal fodder. In Sweden, where temperatures are the highest for a century, farmers are even sending their animals to slaughter because there is no way left to feed them.
Their plight is extreme, but echoes concerns across Europe with weeks of soaring temperatures and little rain.
Poland has asked the EU for financial aid after more than 91,000 farms were affected by an unusual spring drought, according to the agriculture ministry. Latvia declared a national state of disaster in its farms sector in June and also requested early payment of agricultural subsidies from Brussels.
A massive wildfire forced the evacuation of a village in western Latvia earlier this week, which firefighters were still struggling to contain on Friday. Volunteers, including local farmers who helped transport water through the forests in their tractors, joined the army and national guard to help fight the blaze.
The high temperatures also brought downpours, including flash flooding in the Tatra mountain area spanning the Polish-Slovak border.
Around 300 people were evacuated on Thursday night from a village on the Slovak side, rescue officials said.
In Germany, which suffered a drought in May and June, agricultural producers warned the harvest this year will be down by between 20 and 50 percent.
A wildfire earlier this month in the eastern state of Saxe-Anhalt had destroyed 80 hectares (198 acres) of forest.
In Britain, a wildfire on Saddleworth moor in northwest England believed to have been started by arson, raged for three weeks before it was put out on Thursday.
With just 47 millimeters (1.8 inches) of rain recorded in Britain between June 1 and July 16, fire chiefs have warned that parks and other grasslands are like a “tinderbox”.
Last weekend saw an area the size of 100 football pitches burn near Epping Forest, east of London.
– ‘Praying for rain’ –
“I never thought I’d say this, but we are praying for rain,” said the British capital’s fire chief Dany Cotton.
A ban on hosepipes and sprinklers is being introduced in northwest England on August 5, prompting advice for people to water their gardens with the bath water.
Meanwhile, doctors warned of an increase in hospital attendance and admissions due to dehydration and sunburn, particularly among elderly patients.
Elsewhere, Portugal’s interior ministry said it would be sending two amphibious fire-fighting planes to Sweden, battling the heatwave and a drought which have combined to spark a number of wildfires in southern regions.
France, Italy, Poland, and Norway have also responded to Swedish appeals for help. The boot was on the other foot last year when Portugal had to call on its neighbors to help contain a series of deadly forest blazes which left 112 people dead.