Sunday July 21, 2024

Rajanpur, DG Khan facing floods’ brunt

River Indus in high flood at Chashma, Guddu and Sukkur; Sindh govt sets up 50 relief camps; Pak Army starts patrolling at sensitive embankments of districts in Sindh

By our correspondents
July 30, 2015
DERA GHAZI KHAN/ JHANG/ ISLAMABAD: People living in the villages located along the River Indus in Dera Ghazi Khan as well as Jhelum and Chenab in Jhang started shifting to safer places as floodwater destroyed crops cultivated on thousands of acres of land. A similar situation is being witnessed in the Layyah district.
In Dera Ghazi Khan, the migration started amid flash flooding in hill torrents caused by continuous rains on the Koh-e-Suleman Range and the warning about a high-level flood in the River Indus.
The Irrigation Department officials claimed that there was no threat to installations on the river and canals as Taunsa Barrage could sustain a very exceptionally high flood of over one million cusecs.
The heavy rains on the vast Suleman Range are adding to the flow in the River Indus as all the hill torrents terminate in the river.As per the unofficial reports, the flood has so far rendered 300,000 people homeless in Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Rajanpur and Muzaffargarh districts.
Experts say the river is diverting towards the western bank that could cause more destruction in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur than Muzaffargarh and Layyah situated on the eastern bank.On the other hand, the traffic on Indus Highway also remained suspended after a hill torrent overflowed Taunsa Sharif on late Tuesday night and again on Wednesday.
In Jhang, people from over 90 villages situated along the banks of Chenab and Jhelum started shifting towards safer places on self-help basis, but some others refused to leave their homes and cattle.The DG Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had directed the district administration to make necessary arrangements for handling the situation.
The water level at the Trimmu Headworks, where Chenab and Jhelum rivers merge, was recorded at 130,000 to 150,000 cusecs on Wednesday afternoon. The capacity of Trimmu Headworks is 600,000 to 700,000 cusecs and the situation was normal at the current moment.
The officials in Multan said there was no immediate flood threat in the River Chenab across Multan despite India releasing 140,000 cusecs of water.On the other hand, floodwater started receding at Guddu Barrage and rising at Sukkur 528,525 cusecs at downstream on Wednesday evening.
River Indus is in high flood at Chashma, Guddu and Sukkur, in medium flood at Kalabagh and Taunsa and in low flood at Tarbela.The Flood Forecasting Division of Met Department in Lahore said on Wednesday that the River Kabul is in medium flood at Nowshera while both River Jhelum and River Ravi are in low flood at Mangla and Sadhnai respectively. All other rivers and nullahs are flowing normally at present.
Meanwhile Pakistan Army has taken control of sensitive protective embankments owing to rising flood situation in Indus River. Pak Army started patrolling at sensitive embankments of districts in Sindh province, while Katcha areas at Guddu, Kashmore- Kandhkot, Larkana, Sukkur and Khairpur districts gradually started shifting their families to safer places.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has so far issued Short Messaging Service (SMS) alerts to almost 25 million people in Punjab, Sindh and Azad Kashmir under community awareness campaign.
Since the onset of monsoon season, the authority has been issuing SMS alerts to identified areas by respective provinces based on weather outlook and river flow situation.And in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the recent flash floods led to the loss of 2,158 livestock, said the Livestock Department in a report. Domestic animals were mainly killed in Chitral, Nowshera, Charsadda and DI Khan districts in flash floods triggered by torrential rains.
According to the Met Office, well-marked low pressure lies over Rajasthan (India). Under the influence of this low pressure, monsoon currents are continuously penetrating into Pakistan, while seasonal low lies over northwest of Balochistan.
It warned that isolated heavy falls are expected in Bahawalpur, Multan, Sahiwal, DG Khan and Sukkur divisions during next 24 hours. Heavy rains may generate flash flooding and urban flooding in south Punjab and upper Sindh during the period, and therefore, the authorities should take precautionary measures.
The weather forecast for the next 24 hours say widespread rain/ thundershower is expected in Bahawalpur, Multan, DG Khan, Sukkur, Sahiwal, DI Khan and Malakand divisions. Scattered rain/ thundershower is expected in Fata, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan as well as Zhob, Sibbi, Larkana, Nasirabad, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Mirpurkhas and Hazara divisions.
It will be isolated in Kashmir and Lahore, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad divisions. Isolated heavy falls are also expected in Bahawalpur, Multan, Sahiwal, DG Khan and Sukkur divisions.The maximum amount of rain in the country 190mm, 113 and 96 was recorded at Nagarparkar, Islamkot and Khanpur respectively.
The Sindh government has set up 50 relief and medical camps near the Bank of Indus River at Bakrani, Dhokri and Aqil Agani.Fifteen government places have also been turned into emergency relief camps.