PDMA cautions districts connected to Ravi River should remain alert for emergency situation n Rains with strong winds and thundershowers are likely in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Attock, Chakwal, Narowal, Sialkot and Gujranwala today.
LAHORE - The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Sunday issued a fresh warning regarding the possibility of floods in River Ravi after India released approximately 185,000 cusecs of water from the Ujh Barrage.
India suddenly released huge volume of water in River Ravi without issuing an emergency alert to Pakistan. India has released about 185,000 cusecs of water from Ujh Barrage. Of 185000 cusecs of water about 65,000 cusecs of water was expected to arrive within the next 20 to 24 hours in Pakistan. According to the flood limits of Ravi River basin less flooding is expected in the plains.
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, the districts connected to the Ravi River should remain on alert for the emergency situation. Rescue, relief operation teams should be ready with machinery, while relief camps should be established in low lying areas.
Every year during the monsoon season India tends to deliberately release water into Pakistani rivers without issuing notice, which creates a flood situation at the local level.
According to PDMA statistics, India last year had released 173,000 cusecs of water. About one-third of the released water, or 60,000 cusecs, reached the dam, due to which the flood was formed at the lower level in River Ravi.
PDMA has also issued a weather forecast according to which intermittent rains and thundershowers are expected in few districts of the Punjab province. Rains with strong winds and thundershowers are likely in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Attock, Chakwal, Narowal, Sialkot and Gujranwala today. PDMA further informed that there was a possibility of high level flooding in the canals connected to rivers Chenab and Ravi during the next 48 hours besides medium to high flood expected at basin of Ravi River.
According to PDMA alert, there is a risk of flooding in the rivers connected to the hilly areas of DG Khan Division from July 9 to 10.
Director General PDMA Imran Qureshi has urged the local administrations to ensure timely establishment of relief camps in all districts connected to Ravi and Chenab rivers adding evacuation of people and cattle living in possible low-lying areas should be ensured before time.
“All institutions should be fully prepared to face the emergency situation, machinery and staff should be kept on high alert”, Imran Qureshi added.
Imran Qureshi further stressed that damages can be avoided only by taking timely measures, urging the people living near river areas to avoid going near to urban rivers and streams.
Meanwhile, Climate Change Minister Senator Sherry Rehman warned that heavy rains with thunderstorms are expected across Pakistan over the next 24 to 48 hours, urging people to remain cautious. “Forecast of rain impacts in the 24-48 hours in Pakistan. The highest amount of rainfall will be in Punjab’s cities like Lahore, Narowal, Sialkot. Other provinces have been alerted too for heavy to moderate rain,” she wrote on her official Twitter account.
Sherry said that urban flooding alerts have been issued for cities and municipal areas with risks of landslides.
“Coordinated preparedness and proactive responses save lives, so all response teams, both public and NGOs in the affected areas need to stay vigilant, ready,” she added.
Meanwhile, Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi visited the Ravi River to assess the possible flood situation.
He reviewed the measures taken by the district administration to deal with the possible flood situation. Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.
The chief minister was briefed that rescue and civil defence teams are present on the Ravi to deal with the emergency situation, the joint operation will continue for 24 hours, 14,000 cubic meters of water is currently flowing at the Ravi River at Shahdara point.
On the occasion, the caretaker chief minister told the media that there is no danger of flood in Punjab saying, the water that India has released is routine water, our job is to save human lives.
Mohsin Naqvi said that unnecessary residences should not be built inside the river, the settlements built inside the river will be vacated and the houses will be demolished, sand will be removed from the river. However, monsoon rains could further escalate the situation so the next two months are crucial, the CM informed.