Pakistan: 500 villages in Multan, Jhang inundated with floods as India releases more water

19th Aug 2013

[Photo: Jang/The News]


By Intikhab Hanif

LAHORE, (Dawn): Over five hundred villages were inundated in Multan, Jhang and Kamoke on Sunday as floods started threatening more regions in Punjab.

According to the flood forecasting centre, India has released another 114,000 cusecs of water into the Sutlej and the peak is expected to reach Ganda Singhwala on Monday. It is likely to cause medium flood.

Flood in the Indus, Chenab, Ravi and tributaries of the latter two continued to affect life, property and crops over a vast area in Sialkot Division.

Raging waters of the Indus in Sindh’s riverine areas have forced people to shift to safe places after leaving their crops and homes at the mercy of the river.

The floodwater from Nullah Dek entered Kamoke after playing havoc in Narowal, Pasrur and Gujranwala, inundating 100 villages.

The water level in the Chenab at Jhang was rising, affecting 300 villages and damaging crops and structures.

According to an official of the Meteorological Department, any further strong monsoon system can generate massive river and urban flooding because almost all dams in Pakistan and India have filled to their capacity.

The official told Dawn that the land in Punjab was saturated because of the current six-day rain spell. “This means more rainwater would flow over the soil causing urban flooding. Let’s pray there is no stronger monsoon system,” he said.

On Saturday, the water level in Tarbela was 1,549feet, against its maximum conservation level of 1,550ft, and that in Mangla was 1,224.65feet, against its maximum level of 1,242 feet.

The authorities opened the spillways of the Rawal Dam to release its water and create room for absorbing more inflows.

On Sunday, four more people died as rain continued to lash various areas of Lahore. As many people died in Kasur.

Lahore again received heavy rain as a monsoon low over Rajasthan re-curved towards Indian Punjab and Haryana. Low temperature and close proximity to mountains covering the upper catchments of the Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej converted its moisture into rain. This is likely to persist for another two days.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was in Lahore on Sunday, asked his brother Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to step up efforts to cope with floods and rain.

He asked the national disaster management chief to rush to Chitral in order to oversee relief work after rains there.

Riaz Khan, the Flood Forecasting Division’s chief, said the Chenab at Trimmu was rising and was likely to be in medium flood on Monday.

A fresh peak of 123,000 cusecs was crossing the river at Akhnor, in India-held Jammu and is likely to enter Pakistan through Marala. The river will be in low flood.

INDUS: The Indus was rising at Guddu, where the discharge was 400,000 cusecs. It is expected to rise to a high flood level of 500,000 to 550,000 cusecs.

The level in the Ravi at Jassar, the entry point to Pakistan, was 48,000 cusecs and expected to rise to 70,000 cusecs low flood because of Sunday’s rain.

The river was in medium flood of 75,000 cusecs at Shahdara and expected to fall to 60,000 cusecs in 24 hours.

RAIN IN LAHORE: Rain in Lahore for the sixth day running dampened spirits, keeping people indoors and worried about the safety of their lives and property.

The rain was heavy on the city’s outskirts.

Seven-year-old Salman and his brother Salim, five, were killed when the roof of their house collapsed near Bedian Road. Their sister’s wedding was being held on Sunday.

Shahid, 25, of Shalimar, died when the wall of his under-construction house fell on him. His brother, Safdar, was critically injured.

A railway employee, Ghulam Murtaza, was electrocuted in Misri Shah when he touched a pylon.

The Met office reported that Lahore airport received 64mm of rain, Lahore city 30, Rawalakot 19, Murree 10, Balakot eight, Gujranwala six 6 and Kakul 5mm.

It said the weakened monsoon system was likely to generate fairly widespread thundershowers with isolated heavy falls in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Peshawar, Kohat, Hazara, Mardan, Islamabad and Kashmir.


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