BADIN / MIRPURKHAS / THATTA: The Badin administration issued a warning to people of 12 union councils to vacate their homes and water gushing from breaches in canals and drains entered Mirpurkhas town and several villages in Thatta on Sunday as there appeared no end in sight to devastation caused by heaviest ever rainfall in the province’s history.
In Badin, unhindered upstream water flow continued to increase pressure on the embankments of the overtopping Left Bank Outfall Drain, forcing the administration to issue a warning to the people of 12 union councils, including Shadi Large, Khoski, Pangrio and Malkani Sharif towns, for evacuation. The warning was given after Saturday midnight through loudspeakers.
Thousands of marooned families along the LBOD and Doro Puran faced an acute shortage of food, drinking water and medicines.
According to unofficial reports, more than 30 people have died in the area, because of outbreak of gastroenteritis and other diseases.
A large number of villagers erected tents along roads and on dunes and many others are living in open areas.
They accused the administration of neither issuing timely warnings nor helping them and of coming into action only on Sunday when a large number of them had already left their homes.
The administration declared all villages near both banks of the LBOD ‘very sensitive’. More than 50,000 people live in the villages.
The Badin district coordination officer said the situation of the LBOD was quite dangerous and irrigation officials were monitoring the situation.
According to a handout, DCO Kazim Hussain Jatoi said boats had been provided for evacuation of stranded people and helicopters would also be used for the purpose.
He said 50,000 people would be shifted to relief camps in Hyderabad and Thatta. About 100 vehicles were provided for evacuation.
The evacuation warning was issued for the union councils of Khairpur Gamob, Dai Jarkas, Pangrio, Dadah, Khalifo Qasim, Khoski, Mithi-III, Bhugra Memon, Kadhan, Nindo Shaher, Luari Sharif and Seerani.
An official said 12,000 people had been evacuated. About 7,000 displaced people gathered at Faiz petrol pump in Pangrio. Most of them are waiting for conveyance to go to their relatives’ homes.
Only about 2,000 people are prepared to leave their homes in Shadi Large town. There are about 16,000 people in the town, including those displaced from adjoining villages.
A considerable number of people of Khoski town and several villages were unwilling to leave their homes.
A massive wave of 20,000 cusecs of drain water is approaching the area and it may be followed by another wave of the same intensity. The capacity of the drain is 4,000 cusecs.
Mohammad Khan Lund of Shadi Large said the warning issued at the 11th hour spread panic.
In Mirpurkhas, dozens of residential areas were under up to five feet of water gushing out of breaches and the overflowing LBOD.
Local people have alleged that influential land owners were draining out rainwater into low-lying areas.
Under directives of the chief minister, the authorities are focussing on building a dyke around the town instead of plugging the breaches.
Influential people in low-lying areas were using pumps to release water towards the town from the vegetable market, Khaan area, seed farm, Khan Naka, Kori village, inundating Mehran colony, Al Imran town, Zeeshan town, Malhi colony, Sufi town, Nawab colony, Rajar colony, Hameedpura colony, Jamnadas colony, Marvi town, Model town, Chhutto Khaskheli village, Basheerabad, Lalchandabad and Pak colony. Most of the people had left the affected area.
On Saturday night, the LBOD drain developed small breaches near Bachal Maher and overflowed near Lohi Mori in Hussain Bux Mari taluka.
RAILWAY TRACK: Nawabshah-Mirpurkhas railway track was under two feet of water near Mirpurkhas and the Chore-Mirpurkhas section near slaughter house has also been submerged.
Road traffic from Mirpurkhas to Sanghar, Khipro, Umerkot, Digri, Jhuddo and Naukot has been suspended.
People of inundated villages in the area had to walk for up to 25km because of non-availability of transport.
Amid a severe shortage of essential goods in Mirpurkhas, shopkeepers increased prices. The town did not get any supply of milk.
Digri, Jhuddo, Tando Jan Mohammad, Naukot and adjoining villages were inundated by four to five feet of water and thousands of people are stranded there.
Troops with some boats were seen shifting marooned villagers from Jhuddo and Digri talukas.
Relief goods, particularly foodgrain, have not been distributed among affected people for the past three days because of lack of transport from Mirpurkhas. A 45-year-old person died of gastroenteritis.
In Thatta district, overtopping of Shah Kapoor sub-drain submerged Achar Tharani, Haji Tharani, Khan Tharani, Omar Khokhar, Nazar Mohammed Brohi, Mehar Mallah, Allah Dino Jatt, Gahee Mallah and others villages in the coastal Jati taluka.
The drain water submerged hundreds of acres of standing crops of paddy, sugarcane and cotton.
According to official sources, about 166,000 people of 18 union council of Mirpur Bathoro and five of Jati taluka have been displaced.
The Karo Ghangro drain is constantly swelling and 18 sub-drains have been closed.
The Jati-Begna road has been inundated.
The administration has set up a tent city in the yard of the newly built district jail building and has made arrangements to provide food and other relief goods to the people displaced from Badin.
The Ghorabari drain is overflowing at various places and has submerged about 50 villages, including Yousuf Chandani, Mohamed Khan Umrani, Qasim Dhandhal, Abdullah Panhwar, Ibrahim Panhwar, Sahib Dino Badin Poto, Sharif Topi, Siddique Mallah and Rahim Dino Khudai.
In Umerkot district, more than 70,000 people in the Nohto camp are living in the open.
Three people -- Chaman, Chandan and Bilawal Halepoto -- died of water-borne diseases on Saturday night. Rajesh, 6, of Walidad Palli died of malaria in a camp in the mono-technical college and two-year-old Premi died in the Cheel Band camp.