Situation Update: Flooding in Kabul and Swat River

Situation Update: Flooding in Kabul and Swat River

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Background:

Due to rising temperatures, glaciers in Malakand division – which includes Upper and Lower Dir, Swat, and Chitral – are melting at a rapid speed. This is causing rivers Swat, Panjkora, Chitral, Balakot and Kabul to swell.

According to media reports, rising water levels of Kabul River in Nowshera has inundated at least 150 houses situated on its banks, prompting the authorities to issue a red alert warning in the area. Residents of localities in Nowshera District spent a night on the rooftop and now have started to move out to a safer location. According to Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Emergency Cell the Kabul River at Warsak was in medium flood discharging 87,920 cusecs of water and the River Kabul at Nowshera is near high flood discharging 135,300 cusecs of water. Officials of the local administration and Pakistan Army had an emergency meeting in Nowshera to set up a control room and make satisfactory arrangements for the expected floods.

Swat River has flooded in many areas of the Swat Valley, damaging the roads and flooding the hotels by the riverbank in Swat’s Fizzaghat area. Thousands of tourists have left Kalam due to possible threats of floods. The river’s water has also entered the bazaar, washing away some parts of it. Dozens of shops have been flooded, destroying valuable goods. Moreover, the river water has inundated agricultural fields and orchards. Safety walls of Ayub Bridge were damaged at Kanju cutting road links of Tehsil Mata and Tehsil Kabal from Swat and leaving 700,000 people trapped as their ground link stands cut off. The floodwater entered some houses and hotels in Kalam Valley from where people had already been evacuated. The water washed away a three storey building, a house, four shops in Kalam and a bridge in Utror which connected the area with the rest of the district, while stretches of roads in Utror and Kalam were also swept away. Ghureju area, four kilometres from Mingora City is also affected, from where the people were shifted to safer places. The recent floods damaged some link bridges, including Khwazakhela Bridge, cutting off communication channels between Khwazakhela and Matta tehsils.

The River Indus water levels will also gradually increase as glaciers in the Northern Areas, including Gilgit, start melting. On June 11, 2013, Kargah Nullah was flooded, damaging a RCC bridge and rendering it unusable. The water also swept away some electricity polls, disconnecting power supply to Baseen. In Astore Valley’s Fina Village, flash floods claimed the lives of several cattle grazing near a ravine. The water level in Gilgit River is also reaching to an alarming high level.

CWS-P/A Response:

Currently CWS-P/A is closely monitoring the situation.

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