Sindh expects flood in 48 hours
17 August, 2013
KARACHI: After devastating rains in Punjab, water level increased alarmingly in River Indus, inundating catchments from Kashmor, Ghotki, Sukkur, Jacobabad and Larkana till Thatta.
Thousands of people need to be moved from inundated areas to safer places. From Gudu to Tori band, catchments have come under water. DCO Kashmore said that high flood with a flow of more than 0.7 million cusec is expected in the next few days, hence, the people are sent early warning alerts to stay safe.
Several villages located close to bigger Hamal lake in Qambar-Shahdadkot and Manchhar lake in Jamshoro districts have already been inundated. Local influential persons, repeating the same mistake, started building small embankments to save their standing crops inside the riverbed.
The same folly previously caused massive damage during the super flood in 2010, which struck the natural flow, resulting in destruction and displacement. There is not a single word from the district administrations about these illegal embankments inside the riverbed, voiced a handout issued by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF).
In view of the situation, PFF is planning to send boats for evacuation, after receiving requests from the district administrations for help. PFF said that hundreds of families have shifted to safer places on their own, but still a large number of communities are reluctant to take their animals and families out, fearing insecurity in terms of hunger, lack of shelter and fodder for their animals.
The district governments in the northern parts of Sindh claim to have put the officials on alert to monitor the situation of river, catchments and drains - both natural and artificial - to avoid any emergency. The district administrations have received warnings from Met office, Federal Flood Forecast Centre and Irrigation department to start rescue operation to save the people living in the affected areas, located close to the river, as floodwater streams will reach Gudu Barrage within next 48 hours.
Looking at the sensitivity of the situation, the district administrations have appealed PFF to provide speedboats for rescue operations to save human lives and their assets. "We have received a letter from Deputy Commissioner Kashmor for providing them 10 speed boats immediately for initiating rescue operations," said Jamil Junejo, PFF Manager Programmes.
Similar requests have been received from other district administrations, as situation may turn fearful there, he said. "We are planning to send some speed boats to Kashmor initially and monitoring the situation if any other district administration needs the help, like boats and volunteers on humanitarian basis," said Junejo.
The new spell of rains that started on Wednesday was haunting the local people, because of the vulnerability of artificial drains. Hyderabad, Badin, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Matiari districts received heavy rains. In Badin, the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is receiving more water, flowing into the sea. But local elder fishermen say there are chances of high tides in the sea within a few days, which may cause an emergency. During the high tides, usually the sea level rises blocking the flow of LBOD, which causes breach and inundation of the areas.
Badin district has experienced horrible destruction and displacement in 2010 and again in 2011, when flood was followed by heavy rains in the area.
Water level is increasing at Gudu, Sukkur and Kotri barrages with pressure on the embankments and officials have been asked to stay alert.