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ISLAMABAD, Jun 14 (APP): Terming early warning system as first defence line against more than normal rains and subsequent flooding, Federal Minister Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has emphasized the need to put in place a state of the art early warning system to check the losses from flood like natural calamities.

He assured all possible resources for installation of the early warning system to save the country from devastation caused by floods.

The Minister said that concerned departments should take preemptive measures to deal with flooding situation in view of expected 20 percent higher than the normal rains in the upcoming monsoon season.

The concerned departments should be prepared to minimize the losses of expected high floods in the country in the coming monsoon season.

He made these observations while chairing a high level meeting monsoon 2016 impact and level of preparedness at Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

The meeting was attended by officials of federal ministries,provincial departments, Met Office and NDMA.

The meeting reviewed the expected rains in view of Met Office’s forecast and its impacts in details.

He said that national preparedness is a composite for  preparedness at provincial levels to deal with calamity like situation due to more than normal rain in monsoon season.

Ahsan Iqbal said that proper steps should be taken to inspect the conditions of water reservoirs and headworks before arrival of monsoon season and preparedness should be made for relief activities and provision of medical facilities in the backdrop of expected flooding in various parts of the country.

The Minister directed for eliminating all the shortcomings in the relief operations, which hampered the relief activities in past when massive floods hit the large parts of the country.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the country is passing through abnormal conditions due to climate change distortions in recent years, which warrants sound national level preparedness to minimize the losses of floods.

He urged to utilize the youth bulge for volunteerism in flood related relief activities and asked Civil defence to take necessary steps for inducting high number of youth in its volunteer network.

He also stressed for combing operations to remove the snags in drainage system and storm water nullahs at district level.