PM issues directives to save 500KV Dadu grid station n PDMA predicts more rains for Balochistan from Sept 14 n Rainfall may trigger landslides in Kashmir, hilly areas of KP, GB, Galiyat n UNICEF increases mobile clinics in flood-hit areas n PM thanks UN SG for his support to flood affectees of Pakistan, welcomes relief assistance from Turkey, UAE.
DADU/QUETTA/ISLAMABAD - There is no letup in severity of floods in Sindh province as breaches in flooded canals continued on Sunday multiplying the miseries of affected people amid the warning of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) that a new spell of rains in Balochistan could start from September 14.
The National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) has also warned that rainfall may trigger landslides in Kashmir, hilly area of KP, GB, Galiyat and Murree. As per official sources, a 50-foot wide breach occurred in Pir Shakh Canal in Dadu which posed a flooding threat to the city.
It is learnt that even after organising breaches in Manchhar Lake, the water pressure has not yet receded in the Sindh canals.
Earlier, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif while taking notice of the possible threat to a 500KV grid station in Dadu from the flood situation, directed for utilization of all resources to protect the power grid.
The prime minister directed the civil and military high-ups to immediately save the grid station from being affected by the flood, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
For the uninterrupted power supply, the protection of grid station was necessary, he added. Upon PM’s directive, three excavators had been sent from Moro city.
The prime minister had been, round the clock, supervising the restoration and rehabilitation work on the flood-damaged infrastructure. Worst affected districts of Sindh include Qambar Shahdad Kot, Jacobabad, Larkana, Khairpur, Dadu, Noshero Feroz, Thatta and Badin.
In Balochistan districts include Quetta, Naseerabad, Jafarabad, Jhalmagsi, Bolan, Sohbatpur and Lesbela.
KP include Dir, Swat, Charsadda, Kohistan, Tank and DI Khan and in Punjab include DG Khan and Rajanpur.
A torrent of floodwater has entered Bhan Saeedabad, and there is water everywhere in Sehwan too. At least 200,000 people have been affected by the flood. Many areas including Wahar Union Council and Bobak have been submerged.
MPA Dadu Pir Mujeebul Haq has told a private TV channel that 150 villages in Dadu’s Pir Shahnawaz and Yar Mohammad Kalhoro union councils were submerged, adding that the floodwater was now advancing towards Dadu city.
Dadu Deputy Commissioner Syed Murtaza Ali Shah said that heavy machinery had been brought in to deal with the breach at Ring bund.
On Saturday last, water had started flowing towards Dadu city, submerging around 300 villages along the way, following a 500-wide breach in Ring bund at Pir branch, some 10km from Dadu city.
Meanwhile, the situation in Qambar Shahdadkot district has turned from bad to worse.
It is to be noted here that the number of people who died due to floods in different areas of Khairpur Nathan Shah has increased to 11.
The lives of hundreds of people are at risk due to the lack of relief activities.
The rescuers on Sunday fished out body of a man drowned in a flood torrent in Muzaffarabad.
Reportedly, five friends who came to Muzaffarabad for holidays last month drowned in floodwater. The rescuers found dead bodies of two men, but three were missing.
On Sunday, they found another body identified as Zubair.
Officials have sent body of Zubair to his native village Nadoki in Narowal.
Meanwhile, taking notice of the news that a 500KV grid station in Dadu is in danger due to flood water, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday relayed instructions to the concerned authorities for taking measures to save the grid station.
The prime minister has directed the higher civil and military officials to utilize all resources in order to save Dadu Grid Station. On the directions of PM Shehbaz, three excavators have been dispatched from Moro city.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has warned that a new spell of rains in Balochistan could start from September 14.
The PDMA has issued an alert for more rains in Khuzdar, Kalat and Lasbela. Rains with thunderstorm are likely in these three districts from September 14 next. The district administration of these three districts have been directed to remain alert regarding the new spell of rains.
“People must abstain from travelling to hilly areas unnecessarily. The fishermen should also be prevented from going far into the sea in this weather,” the PDM said.
“The PDMA should be informed immediately in case of any eventuality,” it added.
In a related development, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has decided to increase number of mobile clinics in flood-hit areas of Pakistan.
According to sources privy to the matter, the UNICEF will increase 15 mobile health clinics in northern areas of the Sindh province with the cooperation of the provincial government.
“The number of UNICEF-run clinics in flood-hit areas has now increased to 66,” they said, adding that currently, 18 clinics each are operational in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 15 in Balochistan.
The decision to increase number of clinics, according to sources, was made after increase in water-borne diseases in flood-hit areas. “More cases of skin diseases, nutritional deficiencies, diarrhea and malaria are being reported from flood-hit areas,” they said.
A UNICEF report highlighted that the recent rains in Pakistan have broken the 30-year rainfall record and resulted in 1200 deaths including 400 children while 1.1 million homes and 160 bridges are damaged in the last two months.
UNICEF reported that at least 16 million children, among 34 million total, have been affected by floods in the country. The floods have damaged over 1.1 million homes, and 18,000 schools in the country, they added. The floods have damaged 160 bridges, over 5000 km of roads and crops on over 3.5 million acres in the country, they said, over 800,000 cattle have been reported dead amid devastating floods in the country, they added.
Sharing details of the fresh rain and flood situation, the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) has said that light to moderate rainfall occurred in Kashmir, Northeast Punjab and Upper KP. Hot and humid weather remained in Sindh, Central/ South Punjab, Balouchistan and GB.
In next 24 hours, rain wind / thundershower is expected in Kashmir, KP, Islamabad, upper Punjab, South eastern Sindh and GB. While hot and humid weather is expected in other parts of the country. Rainfall may trigger landslides in Kashmir, hilly area of KP, GB, Galiyat and Murree.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his visit to Pakistan to express his unprecedented support for the flood victims. On his Twitter handle, the prime minister said that the UN secretary general’s two-day visit to Pakistan was vital for raising global awareness about the human tragedy.
The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan needed global support to overcome this challenge. “A big thank you to UN SG Antonio Guterres for his unprecedented support of the flood victims. His two-day visit has been critical in raising awareness about the human tragedy. Deeply touched by his empathy and leadership. Pakistan needs global support to overcome this challenge,” the prime minister posted a tweet.
In a telephonic talk with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the PM also expressed his gratitude to him and the people of Türkiye for extending humanitarian relief assistance to Pakistan.
The relief assistance from Turkey was in the form of immediate dispatch of tents, emergency food items, and medicines via 12 Turkish military aircraft, four ‘Goodness trains’ and two Turkish Red Crescent Trucks.
The Prime Minister exclaimed that this is in the truest tradition of Pakistan-Türkiye exemplary relationship.
He also expressed his gratitude for the visit undertaken on September 1, 2022, as a gesture of solidarity and support, by SuleymanSoylu, Minister of Interior, Murat Kurum, Minister for Environment and Urbanisation, the Head of AFAD and representatives of TOKI to see the devastation caused by flash floods for themselves.
Sensitising President Erdogan of the havoc caused by the riverine floods, the Prime Minister stated that as per initial estimates, the floods were likely to reduce Pakistan’s GDP by over 2 percentage points. He underlined that the ongoing floods have devastated millions of acres of standing crops, houses and critical infrastructure in the country. The PM also thanked United Arab Emirates Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan for his generous donation of $10 for the flood victims of Pakistan.
In a telephonic conversation, the prime minister said that the Pakistani nation would always remember his huge support as he had proved his immense affection for the people of Pakistan and expressed compassion for humanity.
On the individual level, so far, it was the biggest financial assistance provided by any person for the flood-affected people of Pakistan, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
The prime minister observed that the amount would be of great help in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.