SUKKUR: Following torrential rains in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, a low flood, carrying more than 200,000 cusecs of water, passed through the Guddu barrage on Monday. Irrigation experts are predicting that flash floods of more than 300,000 cusecs of water will pass through Sindh's barrages on July 20.
The torrential rain in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, which has caused the rivers in Punjab to flow at their peak, reached Sindh on late Sunday night according to the irrigation department. The upstream at Guddu barrage was recorded at 205,240 cusecs and downstream at 164,140 cusecs, which, according to the irrigation department, is categorised as a low flood.
As the Met office has predicted no rain for at least three to four days, the peak flood carrying more than 300,000 cusecs will pass through Sindh's barrages on July 20, said the Sukkur barrage control room incharge, Abdul Aziz Soomro.
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A meeting was held at the office of the Sukkur barrage's executive engineer last Saturday, chaired by the irrigation secretary, in which flood positioning and the situation of the protective embankments was discussed at length. The secretary was informed that the strengthening work of the embankments at various points is ongoing and that there is no threat to the embankments.
A journalist in Pir Jo Goth claimed that a portion of the Ulra Jagir Bund has become vulnerable and that the river is eroding the embankment, which could prove disastrous in the instance of a high flood. Strengthening work of the Qadirpur Loop Bund and Shaink Bund has not been completed in a satisfactory manner, due to which the residents fear it might give way to the strong current of water, claimed sources in Ghotki.
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Sukkur Barrage chief engineer Wali Muhammad Naich told The Express Tribune that he and the Sukkur deputy commissioner visited the site of the Ulra Jagir Bund on Sunday, where strengthening work on three stone spurs used to direct water was underway. He said that all the protective embankments are intact and that there is nothing to worry about.
The Qadirpur Loop Bund and Shaink Bund fall under the jurisdiction of the Sindh Irrigation and Development Authority, whose director is on long leave. When The Express Tribune attempted to contact the director incharge, Muhammad Murad Mahar, he was not available for comments.
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An irrigation expert has said that 200,000 cusecs or 300,000 cusecs of water will not pose a potential threat to the residents of the river bed but if water flow exceeds 500,000 cusecs then it will submerge the entire area. He advised the residents of the river bed area to begin moving to higher ground as a precautionary measure.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.