Hundreds of villages cut off as floods wreak havoc in Sindh

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Indus River in high flood at Guddu, Sukkur, Kotri barrages

Tens of thousands were trapped as hundreds of villages in Sindh were cut off from rest of the province due to high level flood in Indus River.

Small towns including Khairpur Nathan Shah of Dadu district and Sehwan of Jamshoro district were submerged by floodwaters while water level in Manchar Lake continued to rise on Saturday.

An evacuation alert had also been issued for the nearby areas after the water level in Manchhar Lake rose to 122.5 feet. The residents of the area are worried due to a sharp rise in the water level while the condition of Manchar Lake embankment has worsened.

Meanwhile, the migration of residents from the neighbouring villages of the lake continues after a crack in the embankment.

Hundreds of local residents have gathered near the embankment in a bid to protect it as hundreds of villages are feared to be flooded due to the fissure.

The flood water could also submerge the national highway including the city of Matiari district with a population of 400,000 if the embankment was breached.

Similarly, 56,000 cusecs of water entered the limits of Khairpur district.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also took an aerial view of different protective bunds, including the Larkana-Sehwan embankment, and said they were not weak but vulnerable and hopefully would survive with constant efforts of the Irrigation experts and the district administration.

The chief minister along with provincial minister Taimur Talpur flew to Sehwan where he took an aerial view of different embankments, including Manchhar Containing Bund, MNV Bund, Johi Branch, and LS Bund of River Indus.

Murad said that these embankments were vulnerable, but the Irrigation engineers were monitoring and working on their strengthening day and night. He hoped that their efforts would protect Shewan, Mehar, Johi, Dadu, and even Larkana.

Murad Ali Shah said that the level of Manchhar Lake has been recorded at 122.75 RL on Saturday while the level of its embankment known as MC Bund is 128 RL.

He added that the winds of the South were causing wave washing. “There is stone pitching but the winds are so violent that causing wave washing, therefore more stones are required for pitching,” he said, and added stones were being arranged for the purpose.

Meanwhile, At least five people, including a woman and three children, drowned in the Indus as a boat carrying 15 flood-affected people capsized near Jamshoro.

Ten people have been rescued while all victims were from a same family.

Meanwhile, Indus River was raging in high flood at Guddu, Sukkur, and Kotri barrages on Saturday with above five lakh cusecs of water, as hundreds of acres of paddy and other crops drowned in water.

Indus river has been in high flood at Guddu Barrage with the water inflow and outflow measured 5,53,183 cusecs. The river has also been in high flood at Sukkur Barrage with the water inflow and outflow measured 5,59,998 cusecs. At Kotri Barrage water inflow has been 5,13,669 cusecs and outflow measured 5,03,464 cusecs.

According to barrage sources, an upsurge in the water level in the river has been expected at Guddu in next 24 hours. Hundreds of villages have submerged in river flooding and standing paddy crops on hundreds of acres has submerged in the water.

Indus River water inflow at Tarbela has been 1,70,300 cusecs, while outflow has been 1,69,500 cusecs. The water level is returning to normal at Tarbela dam, Flood Forecasting Division earlier said.

The water inflow in river at Kalabagh has been 1,91,395 cusecs and discharge measured 1,83,363 cusecs. The water inflow in Indus at Chashma has been 2,36,027 cusecs and discharge measured 2,05,288 cusecs.

The water inflow in river at Taunsa Barrage has dropped to 2,13,161 cusecs, while outflow has been 2,08,162 cusecs, according to the water record.

Several villages in katcha area of Sukkur, Ghotki and Shikarpur districts have submerged under the river water.

A flow of 559,998 cusecs was recorded upstream at the Kotri Barrage, while the downstream flow was 559,998 cusecs, said the official. The high flood was heading towards Kotri Barrage, he added.

As per the Flood Forecasting Division, Kotri Barrage had an inflow of 513,669 cusecs upstream and 503,464 cusecs downstream at 6am today.

Nearly 57 people have died in the last 24 hours as floods continue to ravage the country, according to National Disaster Management Authority. Of the total figure, 38 alone lost their lives in Sindh, 17 in KP and one each in Balochistan and AJK, said the NDMA.

The overall death toll from the devastating floods, which have affected millions across the country, has crossed the 1,200 mark.

In today’s report, the FFD said that River Indus at Guddu and Sukkur is at a high flood level, while at the Taunsa and River Kabul at Nowshera, the level is low.

“Moderate moist currents from the Arabian Sea are penetrating upper parts of the country at up to 3,000 feet,” the division said.

Dadu district has turned out the be the new epicentre of flooding as water flows towards the country’s south after wreaking havoc in the areas up north.

Meanwhile, the flow at Guddu barrage started reducing by Saturday morning.

The two barrages had passed the peak of the first high flood close to 580,000 cusecs on Aug 23 at Guddu and on Aug 25 at Sukkur. These flows are now reaching Kotri barrage slowly.

Kotri barrage recorded a flow of 543,592 cusecs upstream and 532,787 cusecs downstream at 12pm today. It started recording a rising trend today when it passed a flow of 508,102 cusecs upstream and 498,497 cusecs downstream at 6am.

Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains brought floods that have killed at least 1,265 people since June 14, with 57 casualties reported during the last 24 hours, according to the National Disaster Management Authority. The total number of people who have suffered injuries stands at 12,577, the NDMA said.

“Now river Indus is not accepting huge flows as it is already having very heavy flows. Earlier, a flow of 30,000 cusecs was being easily released from the lake,” irrigation officer Mahesh Kumar had told Dawn from Manchhar Lake.

Keeping in view the impending threat, hundreds of families in the province have taken refuge on roads, the only dry land in sight for many. Many are headed for urban centres, like Karachi, which has for now escaped the flooding.

 

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