KARACHI: The Sindh Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) issued a warning on Sunday to the government departments to undertake effective measures in the face of high forecasted flood levels at Guddu and Sukkur.
The letter issued by the PDMA operations director stated that the Indus river is expected to reach a high or very high flood level at Guddu and Sukkur between September 13 and September 15. It told all district disaster management authorities (DDMAs) to remain alert and mobilise all resources for the safe evacuation of people residing in Katcha area or in close proximity to the river, along with their livestock, as identified in the contingency plans.
PDMA also asked DDMA officials to take appropriate measures, such as acquiring the services of local FM channels, to broadcast flood alerts to the residents. It called for round-the-clock activation of district emergency operation centres, manned by trained response staff and officers, and also asked officials to deploy flood-fighting measures such as dewatering pumps in low-lying areas.
Meanwhile, the health department was asked to ensure the availability of necessary medicines at the district and taluka hospitals and the livestock department was told to guarantee fodder and vaccines for the livestock. The irrigation department was also directed to strengthen embankments at 45 vulnerable points along the river.
For urban areas, PDMA told electricity suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to pumping stations for water drainage and to secure electricity lines to avoid electrocution. National Highway Authority, Water and Sanitation Authority, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board were also asked to ensure the safety and drainage of major communication routes.
PDMA also requested the armed forces to stay on alert to provide assistance if needed for search, rescue and relief operations, and to safeguard strategic and national assets from flood damage.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2014.