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High flood at Taunsa barrage alarms authorities

July 22, 2015

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Irrigation depart closes various canals in Muzaffargarh, DG Khan and Layyah after reports of rise in the water level.—Online/File
Irrigation depart closes various canals in Muzaffargarh, DG Khan and Layyah after reports of rise in the water level.—Online/File

LAHORE: The Met office set alarm bells ringing on Tuesday with its announcement that the Indus River was in high flood at Taunsa barrage and it might rise in a couple of days.

“At present there is medium to high flood in the Indus at Kalabagh and Chashma headworks where the discharge was 410,000 cusecs and 463,000 cusecs, respectively, but the situation is problematic at Taunsa barrage/headwork where both the inflow/outflow is 452,000 cusecs, which indicates high flood there,” Mr Mohammad Amjad, a flood forecasting official, told Dawn.

Know more: High flood at Taunsa; 200 villages evacuated

He said that since the water level in the Indus might rise in coming days subject to more rains in catchment areas, the Met office had informed the district administrations so that they could take appropriate precautionary measures by evacuating people from vulnerable and affected areas well in time.

He said that Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej were flowing normally and there was no threat of flood in areas along the rivers.

“The Chenab at Tarimu and Punjnad is in low flood where the discharge was 89,000 cusecs and 86,000 cusecs, respectively. Ravi is below the low flood as the met office recorded the flow of 22,000 cusecs on Tuesday. Sutlej is also below the low flood mode as the water flow recorded there was 17,000 and 6,000 cusecs at Sulemanki and Islam headworks,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the irrigation department has closed various major and minor canals in Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Layyah districts after reports of rise in the Indus water level.

The respective district administrations have started evacuating residents of Kutcha areas. Authorities claim to have set up around 20 relief camps in flood-affected areas, but a number of people of Alipur tehsil in Muzaffargarh district said that not a single camp had been set up nor any official relief team reached there.

“Most of the affected people in Alipur are still waiting for someone from the government to evacuate them. They are stranded on the roof of their houses after 10 villages were submerged by flood,” Imran, a resident of Alipur, told Dawn. But senior officials of the provincial disaster management authority kept quiet on Tuesday and did not attend journalists’ phone calls.

Published in Dawn, July 22th, 2015

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