MIAN CHANNU/ DG KHAN:
Flood threats have been reported from several areas in districts Mian Channu and Dera Ghazi Khan.
Local authorities have begun large-scale evacuations near Mian Channu, where 35,000 cusecs of water is expected to pass through Head Sudhnai. “Water is increasing in Sutlej very rapidly. The water is expected to overflow within days near head Islam,” said tehsil official Rana Waseem.
Residents in Mian Channu said that they had been evacuating the area for days before the formal warning came. “The flood torrent was too high and we knew that it wouldn’t be long before the villages were inundated so we already began moving,” said Chak 33LB resident Mubeen Haider, adding that he and his family had taken their belongings and moved with their livestock.
Several announcements had been made from mosques to vacate high risk areas. Residents in the area had begun shifting their belongings and livestock to higher ground. “We are trying to arrange for temporary tents for these people to settle in until the waters recede. The situation is made harder because it is Ramazan and most of these people are fasting. We need to ensure arrangements for iftar and sehar as well,” said tehsil municipal officer Rashid Malik.
Several flood victims said that they were having a hard time moving their livestock. “It is very hard to relocate with our animals and the Livestock Department should come up with a method by which they can take care of our animals until we are settled,” said resident Khawar Ali.
Local administration has formed several relief camps in Lohari Pul, near the 78 RT dyke and other areas.
In Dera Ghazi Khan, several nullahs are in high tide after the recent downpour in Koh Suleman. Several villages have already lost ground contact and local district officials are relocating villagers to higher ground.
Due to rainfall in Koh Suleman Sameej, Saingarh, Munj and other areas, over six nullahs are in high tide. The Fazla Kuch and Ronghan villages have already been inundated and rescue officials are working to help villagers reach higher ground.
“Dozens of people have already lost their homes and we are working to relocate them as soon as possible,” said Border Military Police (BMP) commandant Tariq Basra. Basra said that hundreds of acres of land had been inundated and cotton crop had also been affected. He has said the situation was being monitored effectively. “We had already made flood announcements and so far no loss of life has been reported as most people had already vacated the villages,” he said.
Border military officials have been deployed in the area to cope with any untoward situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2011.