Two cuts were made to the Larkana-Sehwan (LS) bund on Friday to prevent floodwaters — gushing from Manchhar Lake and Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD) breaches — from entering Dadu city and its neighboring areas as the death toll from the climate catastrophe rose by 36.
The cuts, made at RD-99 and RD-100 near Karampur city in Sehwan, were expected to divert water from the breaches made to Manchhar Lake’s protective dyke.
According to authorities, water from these breaches was threatening Dadu city, Bhan Syedabad, and Sehwan taluka — the constituency of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Sindh Special Secretary Jamal Mangan told Dawn.com that the cuts had been made at a distance of a few kilometers from the Danister Wah (channel) of Manchhar Lake.
He said that the move was the only option available to accelerate the release of water into River Indus, adding that it was approved after noting some reduction in the river upstream Kotri barrage.
“The release of flows from cuts at LS Bund will ease the pressure of water in cities and some recession will be noted now,” Mangan added.
The irrigation department has planned another cut into the bund which would be made towards the Tati area of Sehwan.
Floodwaters that breached MNVD’s RD-10 and flows coming from two cuts at Manchhar Lake accumulated near the Indus Link Canal along the LS bund of the Indus River.
In recent days, two breaches were deliberately made in Manchhar Lake’s protective dyke to divert the flow of floodwaters draining into it towards less populated areas and prevent flooding in the densely populated cities of Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad.
However, the flows from the Manchhar Lake submerged seven union councils of Sehwan and its toll plaza, disconnecting the taluka from the main section of the Indus Highway and the rest of the districts located along the highway, according to Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Fareeduddin Mustafa.
He said that large-scale evacuation of people from areas such as Talti, Bhan Syedabad, Malook Shah, and others took place on Wednesday and Thursday to keep them safe from the floods.
In Dadu’s Mehar and Johi towns, ring bunds have been established to stop the floodwaters from entering, Dadu MNA Rafiq Ahmed Jamali said.
Meanwhile, reduction of flows in the Sukkur barrage continued on Friday with up and downstream flows recorded at 199,020 cusecs.
Kotri barrage upstream flows were recorded at 604, 099 cusecs at 6am today. However, by noon, they reduced to 604, 087 cusecs. Downstream discharge at Kotri was recorded at 583, 282 cusecs.
36 more die
According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 36 more people died across the country over the last 24 hours, taking the death toll since June 14 to 1,391.
As many as 33 million have been affected in a disaster blamed on climate change that has left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused losses of at least $10 billion, officials estimate.
Separately, the National Flood Response Coordination Centres (NFRCC), in its recent daily update, said that Qambar Shahdad Kot, Jacobabad, Larkana, Khairpur, Dadu, Noshero Feroz, Thatta and Badin were the districts worst-affected during the floods.
Quetta, Naseerabad, Jafarabad, Jhalmagsi, Bolan, Sohbatpur and Lesbela suffered the most damage in Balochistan, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dir, Swat, Charsadda, Kohistan, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan were reeling from massive destructed caused by the torrential rains.
The NFRCC said that the restoration of roads, railways, and other infrastructure was underway across the country.
Furthermore, it said that hot and humid weather would persist in most parts of the country in the next 24 hours.
“However, rain and thundershowers are expected in isolated places of Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, and adjoining hilly areas,” NFRCC added.
US military begins airlift of flood relief items to Pakistan
United States Central Command, in support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), on Friday began airlifting life-saving humanitarian supplies to support people and communities affected by severe flooding in Pakistan, US Embassy said in a press release.
The supplies include nearly $2.2 million worth of essential life support resources, including food preparation and shelter materials, which will be delivered over the course of the coming days in approximately 20 different shipments across the country.
“The United States remains deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the catastrophic flooding throughout Pakistan,” the statement reads.
“Our humanitarian donations are prioritizing urgently needed food, nutrition, multi-purpose cash, safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and shelter assistance. This support will save lives and reduce suffering among the most vulnerable affected communities,” the press release said, adding that the country would continue to monitor the crisis in close coordination with local partners and Pakistani authorities.
Rain, thundershowers forecast across the country
Meanwhile, in its advisory today, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said moist currents were penetrating in upper parts of the country and were likely to continue during the next four to five days.
“A westerly wave is also likely to enter upper parts of the country on September 11 (Sunday).”
Under the influence of this weather system, rain-wind/thundershowers (with isolated heavy falls) are expected in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Malakand, Bajaur, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi, Nowshera, Kurram, Kohat, Waziristan, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Mianwali, Khushab, Sargodha, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Jhang, and Faisalabad from September 10 to September 14, the department said.
In Bhakkar, Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Muzaffargarh, rain was expected with occasional gaps from September 13 and September 14.
Rain-wind/thundershowers were also expected in Tharparkar, Umarkot, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Thatta, and Badin from September 10 to September 14, while Balochistan’s Lasbella, Kalat, and Khuzdar were expected to receive rain on September 13 and September 14.
“Rainfall may trigger landslides in Kashmir, hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Galiyat and Murree during the forecast period,” the Met office added.