KARACHI: The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Sunday predicted heavy rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northeast Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir during the coming week.

Heavy rains forecast within the next 24 hours in Malakand, Makran, Kalat, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir are to be accompanied by powerful gusts of wind, DawnNews quoted the PMD.

Rainfull of up to 200 millimetres may occur in these areas within the next 24 hours which could cause flooding.

Excess rainfall in the Kabul River catchment area may also cause flooding along connected riverbanks.

However, lighter rains are expected in Sindh, south Punjab and Balochistan.

Pre-monsoon rains will become monsoon rains by the end of July, and will continue till September.

Tropical cyclone warning in Karachi

Dr Ghulam Rasul, the chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department told DawnNews there is no threat of a tropical cyclone within Pakistan's sea limits yet, saying that there is an area of low air pressure approximately 900 kilometres south of Pakistan which had been closely monitored over the past three days.

He explained that there had been practically no decrease nor increase in its intensity, but it had moved slightly northward. While its intensity remains stable, he said, it will not take shape of a tropical cyclone.

Dr Rasul added that once it took on this form and entered Pakistani waters, a formal warning would be issued to fishermen, and the PMD would coordinate closely with concerned agencies and provide updates accordingly.

The meteorologist said that Pakistan's monsoon is affected by El Nino, which typically weakens the monsoon. He said that while there were collectively fewer rains over the July-September time period, there were at least 3-4 episodes of intense rainfall.

Ghulam Rasul said that rains will occur the same way this year, taking place during the month of Ramazan in July.

Section 144 imposed on Karachi's Sea View

Section 144 was imposed on Clifton's Sea View beach by Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui because of the annual monsoon spell which brought with it higher waves and stronger currents.

However, despite the imposition of Section 144 banning bathing in the sea ─ but not visiting the seaside ─ large droves of citizens went swimming in the sea to cool off.

Visitors to the beach expressed their dissatisfaction with the ban.

A visitor told DawnNews, "We only got to swim for a short while before they made us get out," while another complained, "We came here not an hour ago and were enjoying it, until security personnel showed up and made us get out."

A Cantonment Board Clifton employee told DawnNews that workers had been stationed across the beach to prevent people from swimming in the sea for their own safety.