Hundreds of villages in Punjab and Sindh were inundated by floodwater in the past few days, leaving thousands of families homeless. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as of Friday, August 16, the death toll from floods reached 98 and more than 100,000 people are affected. Approximately 370,000 acres of land is affected, with 150,000 acres of cropland damaged. These figures continue to rise as reports come in from provincial disaster management authorities and as more villages are affected by the increasing flood level as water travels downstream through Pakistan’s major rivers.
According to the Flood Forecasting Divisition (FFD), the Indus River at Chashma and Chenab River at Marala, Khanki, and Qadirabad are in high floods. The Indus River at Guddu is likely to be in high flood on Aug 20 and 21, as 600,000 to 650,000 cusecs water is likely to pass through this area, while there would be high flood at Sukkur between Aug 21 and 22. The water level at Ravi River at Shahdara is rising and it is likely to be in medium flood at this point in the next 24 hours because of expected rains over its lower and upper catchments.
Fifteen villages in Layyah were inundated after a dyke (Khokhar wala) was swept away by the floodwater from the Indus River. A dyke near Sutlej River breached inundating five villages in the Lodhra region. The evacuation of more than 500 people from the area was reported.
Flash flooding has played havoc as more than 800 people have been stranded in district Jhang. Moreover, floodwater posing threat to Shorkot.
Nearly 200 villages in Chiniot and Sialkot districts were submerged as close to 600,000 cusecs of water flowed into the Chenab River during the last 24 hours. The low-lying areas of southern Punjab are on high alert and the Army was alerted as the water level in central Punjab and the Chenab River starts to recede and collects in the Indus River.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took an aerial view of the submerged areas of Sialkot, Chiniot, and Narowal districts on Saturday. Speaking at a briefing after his visit, he announced Rs 500,000 in compensation for each of the affected families. As of Saturday, August 17, hundreds of people are homeless after 220 villages in Narowal District were flooded.
The water level of the Indus River in Rajanpur District reached 500,000 cusecs. Major areas of south Punjab are at risk. Multan is most at risk as the Chenab River and its water bodies surround the city from three sides. Officials say that the next 24 to 48 hours are crucial. Sixteen villages are already inundated in the Shujabad sub-district of Multan. According to the district coordination officer Multan, flood control centers and monitoring rooms are operational in the district; authorities turned schools near the banks of Chenab and Indus rivers into flood rehabilitation centers.
Hundreds of villages in Dadu, Moro, and Khairpur are inundated with floodwater, and the flood level of Sukkur Barrage is in medium flood.
Most of the katcha areas between Guddu and Sukkur barrages have also been submerged, and residents of Kashmore, Ghotki, Sukkur, and Khairpur have been moved to the safer places via boats. According to Mohammad Rafiq Deedur, Guddu Superintendent Engineer, informed that damages, however, are expected to be minimal in these areas as repairs were recently done and the water pressure can be withstood.
CWS-P/A is closely monitoring the situation and the emergency response team is prepared is case further needs arise.
CWS-P/A is in the process of providing one-month food packages to 5,850 individuals (900 families) in Thatta, Sindh. The distribution to 395 families, which is possible with support from DanChurchAid, was completed on August 16. Christian Aid and UMCOR are supporting one-month food packages to 360 and 145 families, respectively. These distributions will take place in the coming weeks.