Trail of destruction: Floodwater swamps Sindh’s Katcha areas

Eleven die, 15 others injured in rain-related incidents across K-P and tribal areas


Our Correspondents August 04, 2015
A man carries his belongings as he wades through a flooded area in Nowshera district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. PHOTO: AFP

SUKKUR/ PESHAWAR/ HYDERABAD: As rising water in the River Indus inundated large swathes of Katcha areas in Sindh on Monday, rain and flood related incidents killed at least 11 more people across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and tribal areas.

Nearly 1,000 families are stranded in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Naltar Valley for over a week as roads leading to the valley are swept away by floods and landslides. A flash flood also hit the G-B’s Kharmang Valley on Sunday night, damaging some 20 bridges and 10 houses, according to official reports.

In Diamer, the destruction of water channels is posing a threat to crops and trees.

Read: Water level continues to rise at Guddu Barrage

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and the district administration in Chitral distributed relief items for 200 families in Ramboor and Bumboret valleys. Work is also under way to reconstruct roads and link bridges.

Over 200 acres of arable land in Thathal and Katcha areas of DI Khan have also got inundated, resulting in destruction of crops.

Meanwhile with the rising level of water in the River Indus, almost all the Katcha area between the Guddu Barrage and Sukkur Barrage and 50 per cent Katcha areas between Sukkur barrage and Kotri barrage have come under floodwater.

As many as 83 villages in the Katcha areas in three talukas of Jamshoro have been submerged. The villages – including 28 in the barrage’s upstream taluka of Sehwan, 25 in Manjhand taluka and another 30 in the downstream Kotri taluka – have an estimated population of 9,820 people.

Of the over 150,000 people inhabiting these Katcha areas, over 50,000 have been shifted to relief camps, established at various protective bunds. There is, however, a constant complaint about lack of amenities at the camps.

The rising water level at Sindh’s barrages is putting great pressure on the protective bunds, especially the Machko bund near Ubauro, Shank bund near Ghotki, Ulra Jagir bund near Pir Jo Goth, Moria bund near Naudero and Akil Agani bund near Larkana.

Meanwhile, army personnel have been deployed at the Khairpur-Larkana bridge as the structure is under tremendous pressure. The army is also engaged in efforts to fortify the Shank, Moria and Akil Agani bunds.

Reports from Larkana suggest that the gushing waters of the mighty Indus are also putting pressure on Moria bund, where the army has been deployed as the bund is declared vulnerable.

Navy’s relief operations

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 people have been rescued over the last 24 hours by the Pakistan Navy teams deployed at Badin, Khairpur, Sukkur, Pano Aqil, Larkana, Ranipur and Gambat during its on-going flood relief operation.

Read: Bodies of four children recovered from water

Besides transporting to safe areas and providing them with all necessary medical assistance, a tent colony has also been established by Pakistan Navy at Khairpur for temporary rehabilitation of the displaced people.

According to an official statement, the Navy has so far rescued more than 12 thousand people while it works in close liaison with the PDMA and other civil administrations concerned.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2015.

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