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Thursday July 25, 2024

100pc evacuation ordered in Sutlej flood-hit area

Commissioner says keeping human lives safe from threats was top priority of civic bodies, other stakeholders

By APP
August 22, 2023
Rescue workers help to evacuate flood-affected people from their flood-hit homes following heavy monsoon rains in Rajanpur district of Punjab. — AFP/File
Rescue workers help to evacuate flood-affected people from their flood-hit homes following heavy monsoon rains in Rajanpur district of Punjab. — AFP/File

MULTAN/OKARA/LAHORE: Commissioner Multan division, Engineer Aamir Khattak, directed 100 percent evacuation of the population from affected areas as per an alert issued by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab.

He further said that keeping human lives safe from threats was a top priority of the civic bodies and other stakeholders. He expressed these views while presiding over the review meeting held at the Deputy Commissioner’s office, Lodhran regarding the flood in Sutlej River.

Commissioner Aamir Khattak made a detailed review of the arrangements taken to deal with the flood during the meeting. Deputy Commissioner Lodhran Abdul Rauf Mahr gave a detailed briefing about flood arrangements.

Khattak gave special directions to set up tent villages on a large scale for the convenience of the flood victims in the two tehsils of the district including Kahror Pakka and Lodhran. He expressed satisfaction with the arrangements of 24 relief camps set up across the district. He also directed to ensure the provision of quality accommodation, food, and medical facilities to the flood victims in the relief camps.

Commissioner asked officials to establish tent villages in wide areas to provide accommodation facilities to the flood victims so that their capacity could be further increased as per the need. He directed all the officials to improve the coordination among themselves and further improve the flood duty performance.

Commissioner paid a visit to tent cities established in Haveli Naseer Khan and Bahawalgarh Kahror Pakka high school. Assistant Commissioner Lodhran Ashraf Saleh briefed about the facilities provided in Haveli Nasir Khan Tent City while Assistant Commissioner Kahror Pakka Ghulam Hussain gave a briefing about the facilities provided in Bahawalgarh. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Muhammad Zeeshan Hanif has said that there is a high level of flooding in Sutlej River at the moment and the water level is continuously rising. Over 2,000 people have been shifted to safe places, along with their belongings and livestock from different places, according to Rescue-1122 report.

The DC told the media here on Monday that flooding in Sutlej River had played havoc earlier in 1988 and 1995, and it was feared that more damages could be caused this year due to flooding. He said people were being informed by the district administration time and again to move to safer places to stay safe.

He said those living in settlements adjacent to the Sutlej River might not be aware of the warnings issued by the district administration. In such a situation, their relatives should immediately contact them and ask them to move to safe places.

He called upon emergency service Rescue-1122, Pakistan Army and other organisations to work diligently to evacuate people who had been left behind in the affected areas.

According to Media Coordinator Rescue-1122, there is a high level of flood and rescue operations are going on at 11 locations. He said 40 boats of Rescue-1122 and more than 170 rescuers are participating in the operation. The rescue relief operation is being led by District Emergency Officer Zafar Iqbal.

Also, in view of the possible flood situation, Assistant Commissioner Okara Chaudhry Ghulam Mustafa Jatt and Assistant Commissioner Renala Khurd Chaudhry Ziaullah are busy in supervising shifting of people from Sutlej River’s head Sulemanki and Attari to safe places.

Meanwhile, on the directions of Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Ali Randhawa, rescue and relief operations have been accelerated in the riverine/flood effected areas of Kasur.

On Sunday, the flow of water at Talwar post was 222,955 cusecs. After 24 hours, water flow at Talwar post in River Sutlej was recorded 157,000 cusecs. On Monday, another 400 people were rescued and 179 were shifted to safe places.

All resources of MCL, LDA, Wasa have been placed at the discretion of the Kasur administration. As many as 7,121 people have been given medical aid and medicines at 11 medical camps and 1,060 people treated at the mobile hospital at Talwar post, while a full base camp has been set up at the said post.

Commissioner Lahore said that Kasur deputy commissioner and district police officer are monitoring the flood relief activities. He said water situation in Sutlej River was being monitored continuously.

He said that rescue teams are consistently present in the villages situated near the river and backup rescue and relief teams are also ready.

Provincial and district authorities, along with other organisations, are actively engaged in providing assistance and relief day and night, he added.

He mentioned that Kasur district had been affected by flood waters, affected people in 15 villages have been evacuated under Section 144, and eight police checkpoints established for their protection. Furthermore, thousands of ration boxes have been distributed in the third phase.

Relief camps and nearby villages are being provided with timely food by the administration, Randhawa added. Ninety-three rescue boats and three troops are active in flood areas. Additional dumpers and trollies have reached Kasur from Lahore.

In the flood-affected areas, 13 flood relief camps, 11 medical camps, and four livestock camps are operational, the commissioner said. Fodder is also being provided to animals as well. He said all department officials, staff, and machinery had been deployed at Talwar Post.