Army, Rangers deployed to assist civil administration; Evacuations ordered as Sindh cities face new flood threat
In a bid to save country’s largest lake and reduce the pressure of water entering the reservoir amid catastrophic floods, the authorities on Sunday made a breach in Manchar Lake’s dyke at the RD-14 point. Pakistan Army and Rangers personnel were deployed to assist the civil administration.
Confirming the report, Sehwan’s Deputy Commissioner Captain (retd) Fariduddin Mustafa said that the cut was made in the dyke of Manchar Lake at RD-14 near Baug-e-Yusuf.
Manchar Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in Pakistan and is one of the largest lakes in Asia. It is located 18 km away from Sehwan Sharif in Jamshoro District and Dadu District, west of the Indus River.
“After the breach, the water will enter Indus River by passing through Kiranpur village and Indus Link,” according to the Sindh Irrigation Department.
The breach will reduce the pressure of water entering the lake by 30%, said the officials.
“The next 24 to 48 hours are crucial for the Manchar Lake,” the deputy commissioner said, adding that there is pressure on the lake’s dykes from RD-54 to RD-58.
On the other hand, pressure increased on ring embankments raised to protect Johi and Mehar cities from flooding. Residents were dumping stones and other flood-fighting materials to reinforce the dykes.
Matiari city and the National Highway are feared to be submerged as the gate of Chandan branch at Rohri Canal could not be repaired despite the passage of several hours. The authorities, however, are transporting people from five union counsels in Sehwan to safe places. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon shared that the cut has been made in Manchar Lake at the place where Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s house is.
Speaking to the media in Hyderabad, Memon said that the decision to make a cut at the RD-14 point was taken to save the nearby towns.
Memon said that 125,000 people will have to be displaced due to the five UCs being affected. Government machinery is on site to move the people and the victims will be shifted to nearby districts, he said.
Last night, localities situated near Manchar Lake had been directed to evacuate to safer places as the water level at the lake has increased to a dangerous level, posing a threat to breaking the dyke.
According to Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro Capt (retd.) Farid-Uddin-Mustafa, the water level at the Manchhar lake is continuously on the rise. He said the lake’s embankment may cave in at any time. Accordingly, the union councils of Wahar, Bobak, Jaffarabad and Chana should be vacated, he said.
The Deputy Commissioner further directed the people to avoid visiting Manchar Lake unnecessarily as its dyke, RD54 to RD58, is withstanding huge pressure.
The official said the dyke will not be breached and a last-ditch effort will be made [to keep the embankment intact]. “The next 24 to 48 hours are crucial for the Manchhar Lake,” he cautioned.
Meanwhile, evacuations were ordered as several Sindh cities including Badin and Juhi faced with new flood threat on Sunday as a massive torrent of about 600,000 cusecs of floodwater from Indus River has been passing through Mud Mangi near Nawabshah for the past 24 hours.
The destruction caused by floods persisted in Sindh as several cities are reeling from fresh threat of flood while many are still inundated. After 25 hours, the water level has started to decrease. However, the administration is on high alert and the river embankments are being monitored. Gambit city has also become a picture of helplessness.
In the rains and floods, the second major specialised commando training centre of Sindh has been submerged. Boats are being rowed in the commando centre that is submerged in seven to eight feet of water.
The 1,350 under-training police commandos from all over the country have been sent to their native towns. The Warah tehsil of Qambar district has also been severely affected by the flood water from canals. Several roads have been disconnected. A massive torrent of floodwater is passing through Khairpur Nathan Shah.
There is also no boat service of the local administration to help the victims. Due to strong winds, the water pressure on the embankment near Mehar city bypass increased significantly.
However, the residents of Mehar city plugged a canal breach and saved the city from flooding. A video of their efforts for plugging the breach went viral on social media.
A large number of the residents of Mehar city reached the point of canal breach after the news about canal breach spread on social media. They reached the spot of canal breach through social media live service and helped themselves to plug the breach.
On the other hand, 95 percent of the houses collapsed in Dandh village near Mohenjo-Daro in rains and floods. People saved their lives by taking shelter in the parking lot of Mohenjo-Daro.
There rules an eerie silence in Tando Allahyar as more than 2,000 villages in the area have been submerged in floodwater. The flood victims are on the streets as no help has arrived for their relief. There was also a shortage of drinking water, and the flood victims are faced with hunger and various diseases.
The kachta area of Kot Durrani Mehar has completely submerged as the flood situation has become serious in Qamber Shahdadkot district. A 70-feet crack occurred in the Khosa Simm Canal in Meeru Khan, Tehsil of Qamber Shahdadkot after rising in Indus River.
In order to deal with any possible disaster and save their homes, the residents of the area are busy closing the crack of the canal on their own.