MUZAFFARGARH: The district administration issued a ‘red alert’ warning on Monday as a high flood of 500,000 cusec is reportedly passing through the Taunsa Barrage.
Responding to the warning, 200 mauzas (small villages) along the River Indus had been evacuated urgently, said the district administration.
Residents of some villages facing flood threat told this correspondent that the district administration and irrigation department should have issued warning at least 72 hours ago.
They said when the warning was issued on Monday morning, they were not informed about the relief camps set up along River Indus.
*Know more: River Indus in medium flood*
Similar complaints were received from the areas along the River Chenab in Muzaffargarh, Alipur and Kot Addu tehsils.
The district has also seen heavy floods in 2010 and 2014.
Muzaffar Abbas, a resident of flood-hit Wattuwala village complained about “apathy” of district administration.
However, District Coordination Officer Hafiz Shoukat Ali said the administration was taking all measures to control the situation. He said three to four days would be required to plug the breaches in various protective dykes.
The irrigation officials have issued letters to contractors asking them to complete the work on the breaches within days.
The DCO said as many as 18 flood relief camps had been established in the district. He said various teams of health, livestock and Rescue 1122 departments were ready to help the affected population. He said boats were also being used to rescue people.
He said some of the areas had been declared unsafe and people living there had been asked to evacuate immediately.
According to irrigation department estimates, if water in the River Chenab exceeds 290,000 cusec it could become a threat for Muzaffargarh city, while the Indus capacity at Taunsa Barrage was 800,000 cusec.
Sources said evacuation in areas under flood threat had been stated by police and tehsil municipal administration teams on the order of DCO.
Meanwhile, on Sunday a farmer Elahi Bukhsh who was shifting his belongings to some safer area from Lal Pur village was reportedly swept away by Chenab waters.
According to sources, River Chenab floodwater has submerged more than three dozen villages some eight kilometers away from the city.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2015