Thousands flee as Sutlej River floods submerge villages

Marriage party trapped by flood water rescued in Burewala n Sutlej River continues to see high flood levels at Islam and Ganda Singh Wala Headworks

PDMA warns of dangerous water inflow from India in case of more monsoon rains.


BAHAWALPUR  -  The high-level flood in Sutlej River has forced people living in villag­es of river belt here to evacuate their families and cattle to safer areas, officials said Saturday.

According the district management and Pun­jab Emergency Service Department, Rescue 1122, due to high-level flood in Sutlej River after India had release more water into it, villages lo­cated in river belt areas of Bahawalpur Division had been affected.

“Over 75,000 peo­ple have been evacuat­ed from river belt areas of Bahawalnagar, Chish­tian, Hasilpur, Qaim­pur, Islam Headworks, Khairpur Tamewali, Lal Suhanra, Dera Bakha, Jhangi Wala, Bahawal­pur, Khanowali, Fatow­ali, Sama Satta and oth­er areas during last few days in view of high-lev­el flood in Sutlej river,” the official sources Com­missioner Bahawalpur Division Office said. 

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Bahawalpur Za­heer Anwar Jappa vis­ited flood relief camps set up in areas including Khairpur Tamewali, Lal Suhanra, Dera Bakha and Bahawalpur (Sa­dar Tehsil) where he in­spected facilities being provided to people be­ing evacuated from riv­er belt areas. 

Speaking on the occa­sion, he said that the dis­trict management was ready to deal with any emergency situation caused by floodwater.

District Emergency Of­ficer (DEO) of Punjab Emergency Service De­partment, Rescue 1122 Dr Baqir Hussain who was pres­ent at the flood relief camp said that dozens of rescue and relief camps had been set up in Baha­walpur river belt areas for peo­ple who had been affected from floodwater of Sutlej River. 

“Meanwhile, Livestock De­partment, Government of Pun­jab has also set up their camps to provide treatment to cat­tle being evacuated from riv­er belt areas. Reports reaching here suggested that standing crops on hundreds of acres have been submerged by floodwater in river belt areas of Bahawalpur division,” Dr Baqir Hussain informed.


Reportedly, the Rescue 1122 team safely rescued the bride­groom and marriage party who were stuck in flood water safe­ly and brought them to the bride’s house. The bridegroom was overjoyed and there was happiness everywhere and they chanted slogans in favour of Rescue 1122.

According to details, the flood water of Sutlej River has destroyed hundreds of villag­es and thousands of acres of standing crops and water en­tered into Mianwali basti after breach of safety embankment.

A citizen named Abdul Ka­reem, a resident of the same vil­lage was scheduled to tie to knot today on August 26 and he was leaving with the marriage party. He got stuck in flood water due to the erosion of the river.

Upon receiving the informa­tion, Rescue 1122 jawans res­cued the bridegroom and oth­ers from the strong waves and deep waters of the Sutlej Riv­er and shifted them to a safe place. Groom Abdul Kareem looked very happy by wearing bridal suit and sherwani. 

Meanwhile, the Punjab Pro­vincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Satur­day warned of a dangerous increase in the water level in case India releases more water if the country receives more monsoon rains. 

According to a PDMA spokes­person, districts of Kasur, Oka­ra, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawal­nagar, Lodhran, Multan, and Bahawalpur may be affected due to the water inflow. 

“The villages in the vicini­ty of River Sutlej might have to be evacuated and all the au­thorities concerned are on high alert,” said Punjab’s Relief Com­missioner Nabeel Javed, adding that there are concerns over the situation of the Indian dams. 

The PDMA said that the wa­ter inflow at Islam Headworks has increased to 151,000 cusecs while there was a high-level flood at Ganda Singh Wala and the water flow is 122,000 cu­secs while Sulemanki is experi­encing medium-level flood. 

The spokesperson added that continuous monitoring was be­ing done of all rivers, dams, barrages and streams from the PDMA control room.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD) Flood Forecasting Divi­sion (FFD), River Sutlej at Gan­da Singh Wala Headworks and Islam Headworks is at high flood level while it is at medi­um flood level at Sulemanki Headworks. 

The forecast stated that the River Indus was at a low flood level at Kalabagh, Chashma and Guddu headworks.

It also said that scattered wind thunderstorms/rain of mod­erate intensity with isolated heavy falls was expected over the upper catchments of all ma­jor rivers in the next 24 hours.

Punjab’s Caretaker Chief Min­ister Mohsin Naqvi also paid a visit to the relief camp at River Sutlej in Attari Village in Okara

“Severe floods hit 107 villag­es in Sahiwal Division. 82,000 people evacuated, 16,000 in Attari camp only. 36,000 ani­mals saved. 40 boats in action, 11 relief camps in Sahiwal,” said Caretaker CM Naqvi. 

“Rescue teams, District admin tirelessly evacuating flood-af­fected areas. Thank you, Pak Army, for medical aid and sup­port in relief efforts,” he added.

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