India releases floodwater downstream, triggers lethal floods in Ravi, Chenab

Balochistan flood death toll crosses 200; Lahore no more at risk
<p>Young children wade through the monsoon flood that devastated Balochistan in August. Photo: AFP/file</p>

Young children wade through the monsoon flood that devastated Balochistan in August. Photo: AFP/file

Triple dip La Nina transpired monsoon has taken a toll on the Indian subcontinent. And to avert devastation in their part of the world, India has directed floodwaters into Pakistan through Rivers Ravi and Chenab.

SAMAA TV has learnt that the unique phenomenon will further induce downpours till September. However, this spell of rains will not be as severe as the ones witnessed up to mid-August.

As per the research shared by the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the phenomenon is anticipated to last up to 2023.

Chiniot suffers as Chenab overflows

A whopping 140,000 cusecs of floodwater engulfed Chiniot on Wednesday coercing people to run for their lives.

School teachers and students were trapped inside school premises as the land route was submerged by the floodwater.

Education officers rushed to protect the pupils and staff from the devastating flood.

As per initial reports, over a dozen schools including Elementary School Satyana and Primary School Babu Rai have been affected by the flood.

The district administration consoled the people that the water level will drop in a few hours.

Federal minister demands Kurram to be declared ‘calamity hit’

Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sajid Hussain Turi has requested the prime minister to declare Khyber Pakhtunkhwa district Kurram ‘calamity hit’ and compensate the people for their losses.

He said that the deluge caused by the heavy monsoon downpours resulted in the loss of lives and properties in various villages of the region.

“Floods have damaged standing crops, roads, bridges, houses and other infrastructure,” Turi stated in the letter sent out to the premier.

He maintained that the rains have been unprecedented and have destroyed agricultural produce in NA46 on a large scale.

Federal Minister Sajid Hussain Turi said, “In the light of above foregoing, I strongly recommend and shall be grateful if you may graciously consider my request for a special relief package and direct concerned authorities to take necessary steps for grant of Financial Assistance for affected areas of District Kurram on priority”.

The federal minister also met Federal Minister of Communications Maulana Asad Mahmood in his office and discussed the prospects of including Kurram-Kharlachi-Borki route in the CPEC’s Western Alignment Route project.

Lahore no more at risk of high flood

Authorities have said that the risk of major flooding in River Ravi near Lahore has been averted although the level of water is still rising.

On Wednesday, the flood relay of around 40,000 cusecs is expected to pass Shahdara at three o’clock in the afternoon.

Earlier, the water flow was recorded at around 63,000 cusecs in Narowal.

Balochistan flood victims await relief

The flood death toll in Balochistan reached 200 on Wednesday as seven more people were killed in deluge-related incidents.

According to the provincial government, seven people drowned in Pishin. Five of these victims lost their lives in Burj Aziz when their car was washed away in floodwaters while two others drowned in Surkhab.

With the high magnitude of destruction in Pakistan’s largest as well as the most impoverished province, millions of people are still waiting for the authorities to provide relief.

Although authorities are trying to serve victims, affectees claim it is not enough.

On the other hand, the Balochistan government has decided to formulate a relief fund to deal with the catastrophe. One-month salary of provincial ministers and one-day salary of government employees will be added to the relief fund.

In Kohlu, Naseerabad, Dukki, Kalat, Qila Saifullah, and Musakhel, several houses were destroyed due to continuous downpours while livestock and fields were also submerged in the low-lying areas.

The said districts have also become inaccessible from Quetta by road causing further delay in relief supply reaching the troubled areas.

The government has warned that a high-level flood continues to threaten the populace settled around rivers and canals across the region.

Is climate change pitting rival neighbors against each other?

River Ravi

India on Tuesday released a massive 171,000 cusecs water in the River Ravi, forcing several Pakistani villagers to take shelter in trees.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has warned government bodies to take precautionary measures as a medium to high-level flood in River Ravi was expected.

According to the PDMA, floods may occur along the river banks in Gujranwala, Lahore, and Multan divisions, while the water level may rise in the rivers connected to Ravi.

Overflowing Ravi has already left many villages submerged in water. According to DC Narowal, an emergency has been declared across all departments to cope with the flood situation.

Due to the overflow, the paddy crop cultivated on hundreds of acres has been destroyed and road links to many villages have been cut off۔

People in the Rajanpur district are facing a grim situation as not only several villages have lost road links with the district headquarters but villagers – including women and children — have been forced to take shelter in trees.

Chenab River

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

As a result, a high flood with an estimated flow rate of 217,000 cusecs at Marala at its peak, damaged several areas lying around the river basin.

The flood victims in Dera Ghazi Khan and Taunsa are among those waiting for aid as the country tries to rehabilitate Balochistan flood victims.

The urban areas of Mangrotha remain submerged in several feet of water, the situation there has caused flood affectees to travel long distances to bury their families’ dead bodies.

In addition to central and southern Punjab, the Khirthar mountain range in Sindh’s Dadu district caused flooding in river channels that entered Kachho, severing the partially restored land connections.

Climate Change: Pakistan’s greatest enemy?

La Nina Triple dip

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has blamed La Nina for the recent relentless rain in the country.

La Nina is a weather phenomenon that refers to cooler than normal ocean surface temperatures in the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean; this, in turn, causes heavy monsoon in our part of the world.

Currently, together with negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), La Nina is expected to cause “above-normal precipitation” in August.

It is also worth noting that the phenomenon usually persists for two years but this time climate scientists, associated with the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), warn “There is a 70% chance that the protracted La Nina event, which has held the globe in its clutches almost uninterrupted since September 2020, will continue until at least August.”

A ‘triple dip’ La Nina (lasting three years in a row) has happened only twice since 1950. The recent ongoing one is the third in 72 years.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted that the current monsoon spell will last up to August 19 which may add to the misery of the victims of northern floodwaters.

Authorities have been asked to stay vigilant in the wake of the looming threats.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

India

climate change

La Nina

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