Floodwater onslaught on human lives, property continues

  • Gushing water from Manchar Lake devastates nearby villages in Dadu, Jamshoro
  • UNSG briefed during visit to NFRCC and will take a round of flood-affected areas

JAMSHORO/DADU/ISLAMABAD: The floodwater released from Manchar Lake amid rising levels devastated nearby villages in Dadu and Jamshoro districts with Pakistan Army and Navy teams working round the clock to shift affectees to safer locations.

According to details, the flood water released from Manchar Lake through deliberate cuts devastated six more union councils in Sehwan. Indus Highway at Sehwan and multiple link roads are also submerged, disconnecting multiple villages in Dadu and Sehwan areas.

The National Highways Authority (NHA) on Wednesday closed the Karachi-Larkana Indus Highway due to flooding at various locations. According to NHA sources, the highway is submerged under flood water near Mehar, Khairpur Nathan Shah and Sehwan toll plaza. The water level on the location is around 3- feet, they added.

The Motorway police has said that the highway cannot be reopened until the water level recedes significantly. The Grand Trunk road (GT Road) has also been badly affected due to heavy rainfall and floods in the province, they added.

The National Highway is also affected near Nowshero, Kandiar, Qazi Ahmed and Jahanian, the motorway police added. The travel duration from Sukkur-Karachi has gone up from 6 to 15 hours amid flooding and rainfall, they added.

Over 5000km of roads have been damaged in the country due to devastating floods and heavy rainfall, the NDMA reported.

In Dadu, floods continue taking its toll on human lives and properties, for they are yet to recede in their might and vigour despite the weeks have gone by on Friday. As per the official sources, the Manchhar Lake breached again as part of the continuous efforts to reduce water pressure in it following torrential rains.

The Karampur embankment of Manchhar Lake was breached following which the floodwater started flowing into Indus River. The land connection of Sehwan with Dadu and Larkana was cut off due to the floodwater everywhere.

Earlier, a bridge had collapsed on Indus Highway due to torrents of gushing flood that originated from a breach in Manchhar Lake.

In Khairpur Nathan Shah, floods claimed three more human lives. One person died after being bitten by a snake floating in floodwater in the suburban village Glen Lander. Whereas, two others died after the roof of their house collapsed on them in Qaumi Charu village.

It is to be noted here that at least eight people have so far died due to flood in Khairpur Nathan Shah.

Also, the rains and floods have ravaged Qambar Shahdadkot district as the houses of people have been swept away in the torrents of gushing floods. The victims are worried and stranded in their houses, and they are using boats to move from one place to another.

Guterres visits National Flood Response Coordination Centre

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres visited the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) on Friday where he briefed on the scale of damage.

During the morning session of the flood response centre, a comprehensive review of the current flood situation and response measures with a focus on the rehabilitation plan was taken.

Guterres arrived in Pakistan on Friday for a two-day solidarity visit amidst the catastrophic situation caused by floods in the country. He was received by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar at the Islamabad International Airport.

During the visit, Guterres will be visiting flood-affected areas in the country.

The districts that are affected the most in Sindh due to heavy rains and flooding are: Qambar Shahdad Kot, Jacobabad, Larkana, Khairpur, Dadu, Noshero Feroz, Thatta and Badin, while Quetta, Naseerabad, Jafarabad, Jhalmagsi, Bolan, Sohbatpur and Lasbela are worst-hit in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, the most impacted by floods in KP are: Dir, Swat, Charsadda, Kohistan, Tank and DI Khan, whereas, in Punjab: Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts are severely affected by the catastrophe.

Roads, railway restoration underway

After land sliding at a 24-kilometre section of Wangu Hills, restoration work is underway, with a two-kilometre area cleared already, said the statement from the NFRCC.

Meanwhile, the N-50 in Dera Ismail Khan is open for traffic, and work on the approach road and the launch of a bailey bridge is currently underway.

The road from Meher Johi Canal to Khairpur Nathan Shah has also been closed due to being inundated and will reopen after the drainage of water.

The flood response centre added that for railways connectivity, the bridge connecting Quetta to Taftan has been damaged and a 27-kilometre track is currently being restored between Quetta and Noushki.

The railway bridge connecting Quetta to Sibbi has also been damaged near Mach and the restoration work is underway.

In Sindh, inundation of track from Rohri, Dadu to Habibkot suspended rail traffic, which will resume after the water decides in the area. The track between Rohri to Nawabshah also submerged and resumption of traffic will depend on water clearance.

Army relief efforts underway

As many as 446 Army Aviation helicopter sorties have been used thus far for the evacuation of stranded people in various parts of the country.

In the past 24 hours, 32 sorties have been flown and 163 stranded individuals have been rescued, while 34 tons of relief items have been delivered to the flood victims, said the NFRCC.

The total number of stranded individuals who have been evacuated till now has reached 4,264.

On the other hand, 147 relief camps and 284 relief collection points have been established in Sindh, South Punjab and Balochistan for families affected by the catastrophe.

6,031 tons of food items collected in donations

As much as 6,031.5 tons of food items, 1,032.1 tons of substance items and 3,178,092 medicinal items have been collected thus far in donations. Out of this, 5591.3 tons of food, 991.8 tons of substance and 2,969,942 medicinal items have been distributed till now.

25 medical camps established

More than 250 medical camps have been established in which more than 0.1 million patients have been treated all across the country and provided with 3-5 days of free medicine.

Pakistan Navy escalates relief efforts

Pakistan Navy has established four flood relief centres, six central collections points, two tent cities accommodating 4,189 people and 50 medical camps in which 33,973 patients have been treated countrywide.

Moreover, around 1,200 tons of ration, 2,780 tents and 460,577 litres of mineral and freshwater have also been distributed in various districts.

Apart from that, Pakistan Navy’s 23 Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) equipped with 45 motorized boats and two hovercrafts have been deployed in 10 districts and have rescued 13,063 stranded personnel.

The maritime force has also deployed two helicopters in Sindh. Till now, 47 sorties have been flown, rescuing 465 stranded people and distributing 3,297 packets of ration and 300 kgs of medicine.

Eight diving teams of the Pak Navy have also carried out 26 diving operations in affected areas across Pakistan.

PAF nationwide relief and rescue operations continue

Pakistan Air Force has also conducted 87 C-130, 92 MI-17, and 54 AW-139 air sorties, rescued 1,521 personnel, distributed 2,577 tents, 165,357 food packets, 2482.24 tons of ration and established 19 tent cities accommodating 16,695 people, 50 relief camps and 41 medical camps in which 37,789 patients have been treated across the country so far.

PAF is fully committed in Sindh’s Nawabshah, Sukkur, Mirpur Khas, Talhaar, Jacobabad, Sehwan and Perpatho.

It is also conducting relief operations in Baclochistan’s cities of Bamungli, Killa Abdullah and Killa Saifullah, as well as Rajanpur and DG Khan in Punjab and Gilgit Skardu, Ghizer, Naltar, Ganche in G-B.

Nowshera, Charsadda, Kheshgi, Saidu Sharif, Shangla, Laram have also remained under focus in K-P.

Breach in Mirpur-Kotli highway on periphery of Mangla Lake

Life-threatening cracks have developed in a big portion of Mirpur-Kotli highway close to the periphery of Mangla dam’s reservoir, causing fear and panic among local population.

Mirpur Deputy Commissioner Ch Amjad Iqbal has directed the diversion of heavy traffic moving to and from Mirpur for Kotli and others major towns through alternative Band Road route passing along the Mangla-dam reservoir.

The district administration has also advised all the departments concerned including AJK highways, police, MUST geographical department and other agencies to remain alert and vigilant to deal with any eventuality in case of continuation of the breach.

The State Highway Department, has meanwhile been advised to start repairing the highway discouraging the enlargement of the breach and erosion at the busiest highway.

After visiting the affected portion of the Mirpur Kotli Highway at the site of Dhairi Choudhriyan township, along with the senior officials of the administration and the concerned departments to make immediate inspection of the site,  Mirpur Deputy Commissioner Ch. Amjad Iqbal told APP here on Friday that the breach followed by harmful cracks were found developed in the high way at Dhairi Chaudhriyan site on Mirpur Kotli Road, about 06 km from Mirpur city.

The highway was immediately closed for heavy traffic. However, the light traffic has been allowed to continue with extremely low speed at the affected site, the DC said adding that the Mirpur Highway Department has been directed to start repairing the affected portion of the road with the construction of instant speed breakers at both sides of the affected portion of the highway, he added.

The DC was flanked by senior district administration officials including ADC [G] Yasir Riaz, AC Muneer Qureshi, Div. Director PID AJK Mirpur div. Javeid Malik, Officials of police and the highway department during visit to view the collapsed site of the highway.

“The matter seems very serious since the affected portion of the Mirpur Kotli highway is close to left bank of the Mangla dam reservoir”, the Deputy Commissioner has informed the top AJK government authorities in a letter, meanwhile, issued on Friday.

“In the past, a big portion of the Mirpur-Kotli highway, hardly half of a kilometer from current affected site, had washed away following the major erosion from the side of the Mangla reservoir – which was got repaired by the concerned department ”, the DC underlined in his letter.

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