LAHORE: The swelling Sutlej river continued to imperil villages along the bank as it continued to flow in an extreme high-level flood at Head Sulemanki, near Pakpattan on Tuesday.
The high water level would inundate several districts in Kasur, Okara, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Lodhran, and Bahawalpur, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab.
The authority spokesperson said 122,000 cusecs of water was passing through Ganda Singh Wala near Kasur and a high-level flood was being witnessed downstream at Sulemanki Headworks where the flow reached 171,000 cusecs.
Sulemanki Headworks will attain a very high-level flood on Tuesday night which will cause severe damage to riverine areas.
Riverine villages of Vehari, Lodhran evacuated; CM wants relief efforts expedited
At Head Islam near Vehari, the water flow was recorded as normal at 54,377 cusecs however, the level was continuously increasing.
The Sutlej river was witnessing its worst flooding in over three decades after India released water following heavy rainfall in its northern states.
The flow of water in other rivers of Punjab was normal.
The heavy flow of water in the Sutlej river was expected to pass through the riverine areas of Vehari and Lodhran during the next two days.
According to the Vehari district administration, the population was being rapidly evacuated from the riverine areas in the two districts.
Around 80 per cent of people have been shifted to safe places in Vehari while the evacuation was in progress in Lodhran district.
PDMA has also predicted a high-level flood in Jhelum river at Mangla between August 23 and 25. The excess water will be released towards Rasul Barrage near Mandi Bahauddin, potentially endangering low-lying areas in the vicinity.
The PDMA also issued flood warnings for Jhang, Khanewal, Multan and Muzaffargarh.
All deputy commissioners have been alerted to remove encroachments in the bed of Jhelum river to minimise the destruction and ensure the safety of people.
The PDMA spokesperson said vulnerable populations and cattle were being shifted to safer places from riverine belts with the help of Pakistan Army and district administration.
The Bahawalpur divisional administration has also issued a flood alert in Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar districts due to the high water flow of Sutlej river.
The divisional administration has also established a control room in Bahawalpur to monitor the flood situation.
Pakistan Army has been carrying out rescue and relief operations in the affected areas of Bahawalnagar, Pakpattan, Arif Wala, Mailsi and Minchinabad, according to PDMA.
Meanwhile, Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa has said the current flow of water at Talwar post, near Kasur in Sutlej River was 129,000 cusecs.
CM visits affected areas
Earlier, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi conducted an aerial survey of Kasur, Okara, Pakpattan, Arifwala and other affected localities along the Sutlej river.
He directed that rescue and relief operations be expedited and all possible measures be taken to safeguard lives. He stressed the necessity of fortifying protective embankments by effectively deploying available resources to ensure the security of the nearby communities.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2023