Dadu struck by ‘new phenomenon’ of west river bank floods, says army chief
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday said that Dadu, amongst the worst hit areas of the country by the floods, fell victim to the new phenomenon of water coming from the west bank of river Indus, something for which no one was prepared for.
He said this while visiting flood-affected areas of Dadu in Sindh on Saturday. He vowed that the military was committed to helping rehabilitate flood survivors but suggested that the road to rehabilitation may be long.
While speaking to local media, Gen Bajwa said that the 100 square kilometer area between Hamal Lake and Manchar Lake was the worst affected, with the entire area wholly submerged.
He said their priority at this point was rescuing stranded people and providing flood affectees relief.
While the rescue work has been completed in most flood-hit areas, he said, noting that there are just sporadic calls of emergencies of snake bites or other issues. However, they are still rescuing people in Dadu.
He added that Dadu city, which has a population of 500,000, has seen that number double as a result of the floods while it remains surrounded by water.
The army chief appreciated the district administration’s efforts, who coordinated with the military to set up temporary dykes and manage the surge in refugees.
Appreciating people from across Pakistan who have been sending aid and relief goods, he made a special request to the residents of rural and urban areas of Sindh to step forward and help deliver aid.
He further said that the international community was also helping Pakistan with flights coming in and experts flying in apart from donating, but we should not depend on them.
Talking about the rehabilitation of flood victims, he said that it was a long and exhaustive process and may take a long time.
Talking about climate change and its impacts, he said that floods typically in these areas come through the river.
Further, the average rain in these areas is relatively low during this time of the year. But this year, they saw around 1,700 millimetres of rain in a week.
“We were not prepared for tha,” he said, adding that what also took them by surprise was that most of the water came from the west bank of the river.
Hill torrents from Balochistan caused a lot of damage, he added.