LAHORE: The Punjab government on Sunday announced flood emergency across the province to deal with the heavy rains and floods that have claimed more than 100 lives in the country, Radio Pakistan reported.
According to a handout issued in Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif directed concerned authorities and departments to speed up the relief work for the flood and rain-hit people.
The chief minister also directed provincial ministers, commissioners and DCOs to remain in the field to facilitate the flood victims.
Some 69 people have died in worst-hit Punjab province, another 48 in Azad Kashmir, and 11 in Gilgit-Baltistan, spokesperson for National Disaster Management Authority Ahmed Kamal told AFP.
Heavy rains are easing and have stopped altogether in parts of Pakistan following the floods that have hit 108 villages and damaged farmland in the country.
PM visits flood-hit areas
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the severely flood-affected area of Sialkot and Narowal districts to review the ground situation on Sunday. He assured the government was making all out efforts in relief activities and termed the situation “unexpected”. Accompanied by Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, the premier took a detailed aerial view of urban and rural flood-hit areas.
Express News screengrab of PM Nawaz Sharif and Defense Minister Khawaja Asif.
He noted that rivers, including Chenab and others, were at their peak flood level, causing enormous loss to crop fields, as well as city areas. PM Nawaz said residents of various flood-hit areas were relocated as both the civil administration and the armed forces were carrying out relief and rescue operations, adding that the government should be assisted in its efforts as it was more important than “staging sit-ins”.
Pakistan Army continues relief work
Pakistan Army continues its relief and rescue operations in flood-hit areas of Punjab, said a statement issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday.
The areas include Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Hafizabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Chinot and Mandi Bahauddin, among others.
The statement added that army troops have also moved to Multan, DG Khan, Liyyah, Sahiwal and Trimoo headworks to help those in distress in this time of crises.
The ISPR stated that on Sunday 16 helicopters rescued 2300 people from flood-hit areas of Punjab, including Chiniot, Kot Momin Phalia, Hafizabaz, Khanki, Qadirabad, Bajwat, among others.
“Food packs were dropped by army helicopters in various places, while over 6500 stranded have been moved to safer places so far, the statement added. “Besides ground troops, 300 boats and five helicopters have been employed for rescue and relief activities.”