India releases floodwaters in Chenab, wreaks havoc in Wazirabad farms

Flood waters rage towards Gujranwala; floods continue to cause damage in GB, KP and Balochistan
<p>Floodwaters striking awe in hearts of locals in Pakistan. Photo: SAMAA/file</p>

Floodwaters striking awe in hearts of locals in Pakistan. Photo: SAMAA/file

Floodwaters released by India into the Chenab River reached Khanki Barrage early on Friday, inundating thousands of acres of farmland located along the banks of the river in Wazirabad.

Elsewhere, heavy rains have caused the flows in most major rivers to rise to dangerous levels causing widespread damage.

A water war

Pakistan’s eastern neighbor, which saw heavy rains in recent weeks, has been shedding large water loads into the Chenab River unannounced.

As a result, it has caused high flood with an estimated flow rate of 217,000 cusecs at Marala at its peak. It has now subsided to around 142,000 cusecs.

However, the daily bulletin by the Indus River System Authority - which monitors water flow in all waterways of the country, noted that the mean upstream discharge at Marala in the Chenab was 158,671 cusecs.

The mean downstream discharge was 140,665 cusecs.

A notification has been issued to the relevant flood relief institutions to start a rehabilitation drive in the affected area as soon as possible.

The flood waters are now raging towards the Qadirabad Barrage in Gujranwala, with a mean flow estimated at 196,000 cusecs.

The threat of high flood now also looms over Jhang.

Balochistan flood

Many areas of Balochistan - still reeling from torrential rains, hill torrents and flash floods from last month - could face further flooding with more rains forecasted for the weekend along with major water reservoirs filled to capacity and at risk of overflowing.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Flood forecasting Division for Balochistan has issued an alert warning authorities of possible floods and heavy downpour up to August 13.

The fifth monsoon wave recently intensified into a depression lying 260 kilometer away from Karachi at 2pm according to data shared by the Meteorological department.

In the wake of unusual low pressure hovering near the country, PDMA has issued an alert to the deputy commissioners (DCs) of all districts in Balochistan.

It warned that Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Musakhel, and Shirani districts could face flooding.

PDMA Balochistan has notified officials that monsoon rains will continue till Saturday in the 16 districts of the province, thereby DCs must keep heavy machinery handy for relief efforts.

In a separate statement, the PDMA said that the Miraani Dam in Balochistan currently has water two feet over its capacity.

It warned that other dams in the province are also filling up fast and are nearly filled up to their full storage capacity.

A report shared by PDMA states that the volume of water in Hub Dam is currently at 350 feet while its capacity is only 339 feet.

The Miraani Dam has water up to 246 feet, compared to its capacity of 244 feet.

Moreover, Shadikor Dam is only 2.7 feet away from reaching its full capacity of 54 feet.

The Subakzai Dam has a capacity of 94 feet. Currently, the water level in the dam has reached 41.06 feet, whereas Sowar Dam is now carrying water up to 25 feet, only 10 feet from complete filling up.

The Akara Dam which feeds Gwadar, has been able to store over 37 feet of water during the latest monsoon season. Its capacity is 80 feet.

Flood relief measures

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has pledged to continue flood relief operations in disaster-struck areas of Balochistan.

The spokesperson for the authority on Thursday that 60,000 liters of potable water has been dispatched to the flooded areas.

To drain out excess water from low-lying areas, 117 water pumps have also been dispatched.

The spokesperson added that food packs to support the dietary needs of 40,000 people, and mosquito nets and fleece for 60,000 flood affectees have also been shipped.

Other aid items sent in the haul include kitchen sets, hygiene kits, and chemical spray machines, he maintained.

Impact of catastrophic Balochistan monsoon

So far, some 170 people have perished in heavy rains and hill torrents in the province. However, the last casualties to be reported from the region were registered on August 5.

According to a report shared by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), 43 women and 55 children lost their lives in the calamitous rains that lashed the largest province of Pakistan in July and August.

As many as 75 people were also injured due to rain-related incidents.

So far, 16 bridges and 650km of roads have been damaged by the heavy downpour and consequent floods in the region as per the data outlined in the report.

Moreover, 15,337 houses were damaged in total, of which 3,872 were completely obliterated.

KKH blocked at Uchaar Nullah

Owing to the heavy flow of water mixed with mud and large boulders in a flash flood, parts of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) were damaged near the Uchaar Nullah and washed away a key connecting bridge - Compact 200 temporary bridge.

As a result, both the up-track and down-track of the KKH were closed for all types of traffic.

Officials of the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) said that they have mobilized teams to restore traffic along the KKH.

However, they noted that there is still a heavy flow of mud and water through the nullah which will make any work difficult.

Travellers planning to move from Dassu towards Gilgit and other areas have been urged to adopt alternate routes via Kaghan and Babusar Pass.

Commuters were further requested to check the latest situation of the KKH from 099 8405067 before travelling.

flash flood

urban flooding

Floods 2022

Balochistan floods

flood damage

Tabool ads will show in this div