The district administration of Sahiwal on Tuesday set up at least 20 relief camps on the bank of River Ravi after warnings of medium to high-level floods were issued following the release of 171,797 cusecs water by India.
According to the Flood Forecasting Division of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, India released water from Ujh Barrage on Ravi which would reach Jassar on Tuesday (today).
More than 170,000 cusecs of water will reach Lahore, Shahdara, and Narowal on Wednesday, while about 130,000 cusecs will reach Sahiwal and Chichawatni on August 18.
The commissioner of Sahiwal, Silwat Saeed, told Dawn.com that more than 50 villages in the district were at the risk of getting affected by the water release.
She said that there was a capacity of 100,000 cusecs of water to pass through the Ravi bridge. "But seven passes of the river have been shut," Saeed pointed out, stressing that they should be immediately opened to reduce the damage caused by the floods.
The commissioner added that an alert had also been issued in the area and locals were advised not to visit the river bank or leave their cattle there. People living near Ravi have also been told to vacate their areas and move to safer locations.
Separately, the number of relief camps set up in the district has increased from 11 to 20. Earlier today, the health and livestock departments sent vaccines and medicines to the camps.
Meanwhile, in a meeting chaired by Lahore Deputy Commissioner Umar Sher Chattha, it was decided that relief camps would be set up in Raiwind and Shalimar as well.
He said that medical and defense teams will be deployed there in case of an emergency.
On Monday, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) released a flood warning for River Ravi and alerted all the departments concerned to ensure precautionary measures to avoid any loss of lives and damage to private and public property.
Subsequently, Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi chaired a meeting to review the alert issued by the NDMA and directed the authorities to ensure the evacuation of the population along the river banks.
The meeting also decided to install advanced radars in Lahore and Sialkot to monitor the flood situation in Ravi. CM Elahi also ordered the provision of tents, food, and other equipment to the displaced.
Previously, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had also issued a flood alert to all the departments, including irrigation, food, communication and works, agriculture, local government and community development, and primary and secondary healthcare.
The PDMA had ordered the immediate mobilisation of flood fighting and rescue and relief teams with required machinery and equipment, provision of food hampers for stranded families, evacuation of livestock, and provision of fodder.
It said residents of most vulnerable areas should be shifted to temporary relief camps/safe places as and when required; necessary arrangements for the provision of cooked food by the district administration should be ensured in relief camps. In order to avoid outbreaks of epidemics, medical teams be mobilised for the provision of first aid to the affected.
Additional reporting by Imran Gabol