KASUR: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Wednesday warned of medium- to high-level flooding in the Sutlej River near Ganda Singhwala, Kasur, over the next 24 to 48 hours as the water level continued to rise in the river.

The water level at Ganda Singhwala was 20.50 feet at 4pm which rose to 20.90 feet at 7pm in the wake of water released by India. The severity of a flood is considered medium if the water level crosses 19.5 feet.

Due to floods, water entered villages after embankments in Mastaykay, Mahiwala, Dhoopsari, and Bhikiwind were washed away. Similarly, standing crops over hundreds of acres were also submerged. The swelled river also spread panic among villagers, as the district administration claimed to evacuate about 900 villagers who were sheltered in government schools in Sahjra and Sheikhpura Nau villages.

The administration said it had established more relief camps in the flood-hit areas, adding that over two dozen villages and hamlets were likely to submerge if the water level continued to rise.

900 villagers moved to shelters by district admin

The NDMA issued an advisory alert for the provincial departments to ensure proper protective measures amid medium- to high-level flood forecast in Sutlej, reported state-run APP.

According to the NDMA, during the next 24 to 48 hours, a medium to high level of flood was expected in the Ganda Singhwala area along the river. “The administration of the flood-prone areas should continue monitoring the sensitive areas, especially at the river Chenab’s Trimmu and the Ravi’s Jassar areas until July 20,” it said.

According to a weather advisory issued on Wednesday for the next 48 hours, scattered thunderstorms/rain of light to moderate intensity may occur over Islamabad and Punjab, including upper catchments of all the major rivers of the Indus River System.

This may cause medium- to high-level flooding in river Sutlej at Ganda Singhwala. “From July 14 to 16, there is a likelihood of scattered to widespread thunderstorm/rain with heavy falls at isolated places over upper catchments of all the major rivers of IRS.

The Federal Flood Commission said the Sutlej was in low flood at Ganda Singhwala while all other major rivers of the Indus River System were in normal flow. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) on Wednesday released 283,200 cusecs of water from various rim stations with an inflow of 325,700 cusecs, according to APP.

According to the data released by IRSA, the water level in the Indus River at Tarbela Dam was 1,517.31 feet, which was 119.31 feet higher than its dead level of 1,398 feet. Water inflow and outflow in the dam were recorded as 143,200 cusecs and 140,000 cusecs, respectively.

The water level in the Jhelum at Mangla was 1,198.60 feet, which was 148.60 feet higher than its dead level of 1,050 feet.

The inflow and outflow were 49,300 cusecs and 10,000 cusecs, respectively.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2023

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