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India releases more water as flood havoc persists

19 August, 2013

LAHORE: People stand on a bridge and look at the Ravi River which is flowing in flood following monsoon rains.
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LAHORE: India released more water into Pakistani rivers as floods continued to play havoc in different areas affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

At least four people, three children among them, were killed and 12 injured on Sunday in incidents of roof collapse in Punjab while two brothers drowned in the Ravi river.

Police and rescue teams said the roof of a mud house caved in due to heavy rain in Lahore's Bedian Road area, killing six-year-old Salman and five-year-old Naveed. A woman and a girl were injured in the incident.

A roof collapse also killed a man in the Baghpora area.

Another similar incident took place in Lahore's Kacha Kumahan area where six people, including two children, were buried under debris when the roof of their house collapsed. Rescue teams retrieved all those trapped and shifted them to hospital.

In Nankana Sahib's Kot Fazl area, the roof of a house collapsed in the heavy downpour, killing a child and injuring a couple and two children.

Police said brothers Afzal and Bilal were fishing on the bank of the Ravi during rain when they suddenly drowned due to erosion of the bank.

On information, rescuers of Rescue 1122 reached the spot and started a search for the two brothers.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) says 108 people have so far lost their lives and 104 others have sustained injuries in various parts of the country in flood-related incidents.

In its update‚ the Authority said 30 people have died in Punjab‚ 24 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa‚ 22 in Sindh‚ 16 in Balochistan‚ 12 in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and four in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The NDMA said that a total of over 334,000 people have been affected due to floods; 2,774 houses have been damaged partially and 2‚427 completely in the flash flooding. It said 7,070 villages have been affected by the floods.

The NDMA said 44 flood relief camps have been established in the flood-hit areas where essential items are being provided to the affected people.

Flash floods in rivers and nullahs of Punjab have played havoc in various areas of the province adversely affecting daily life besides depriving people of their life-long belongings and leaving them homeless.

The flash floods, besides disrupting routine life, have also damaged the communication links as various areas remained cut off without shelter, food commodities, medicines and other basic amenities.

The flash flood at Tarimo Headworks submerged the Jhang-Sargodha Road near Pakaywala closing it for traffic. More than 50 persons trapped in the flooded village of Lohaywala were rescued after hectic efforts of the concerned authorities.

At least 50 villages of Chinot were cut off from the urban areas due to the onrush of the flood, while the standing crops in Shorkot's suburban areas were severely damaged by the flash flood.

Nine villages near Multan were also were inundated as the water lever in river Chenab mounted. Pak Army contingents, Rescue 1122 and Civil Defence volunteers are busy in relief and rescue work in the flood-affected areas.

On the other hand, thousands of acres of cultivated land in 72 villages of Hafizabad and Qadirabad has been adversely hit by a Chenab river flash flood. Sialkot remained flooded by overflowing Nullah Aik water, while several villages of Narowal and Pasrur remained marooned by overflowing water from Nullah Dek.

Eleven villages were also submerged as the water level at Taunsa on the river Indus went up.

In Rajanpur, four union councils were inundated by the overflowing nullahs Kaha and Chachar, while due to the river Indus changing course near Jampur, water began gushing into nearby villages.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, flood water from river Sindh has entered hundreds of villages. According to sources, 470,000 cusec of water will pass from Taunsa during the next 24 hours.

The spillways of Tarbela Dam were opened as the water level started rising rapidly.

Danger sirens were sounded before opening the spillways. People living in the vicinity of the dam have been directed to shift to safer places.

Meanwhile, the flash flood in the river Indus has now entered Sindh. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority said that the flood water has inundated thousands of acres of land in the Katcha area of Ghotki District. The district government has sought help from the PDMA to evacuate the people marooned in the floodwaters.

About 200,000 cusec of floodwater in the Chenab river is crossing tehsil Kabirwala and the water touched the embankments.

According to sources, the flood wave touched Fazil Shah and Jhok Azam embankments due to an increase in the water level in the Chenab river while standing crops were also damaged in the river belt.

Rescue teams shifted people of the flooded areas to safer places while the district administration has set up seven relief camps.

According to DCO Usman Muazam, all embankments were monitored round the clock and they were ready to handle any situation.

The Pakistan Army says it is ready to cope with the flood situation and extend help to the affectees in protecting their lives and properties through rescue operations.

The pledge was made in a meeting chaired by Garrison Commander Major General Umer Farooq with senior army and civil officers of Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan.

Major General Umer Farooq said that the army would remain alert to help the civil administration whenever it was required.

End.

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