Over 200 people were rescued in Shakargarh after excessive water entered the Ravi river from India

Rescue workers monitor the flood situation on a bridge over a river in Rawalpindi on July 7, 2023.  - AFP
Rescue workers monitor the flood situation on a bridge over a river in Rawalpindi on July 7, 2023. – AFP
  • India’s release increased the water level of the Ravi River.
  • Crop damage in Shakargarh’s border village Jalala.
  • India releases at least 185,000 cusecs of water into the Ravi river.

Punjab Rangers and Rescue 1122 teams on Monday launched a cooperative rescue operation in Shakargarh tehsil of the province after excessive water release by India a day earlier caused flash floods near the border village.

Through the rescue operation, the teams managed to rescue at least 223 residents of the area – mostly women and children – who were stranded amid the rising water level in the Ravi river.

They were later brought to safer places as rescue teams of Punjab Rangers remained in the border area to deal with the unfolding situation.

Crops have also been damaged in Shakargarh’s border village Jalala due to flood water coming from India. Local paddy farmers’ crops were submerged while they themselves were left stranded.

Pakistan’s eastern neighbor released at least 185,000 cusecs of water into the Ravi river on Sunday.

As a result, excessive water from India reached Kartarpur Jassar via Naina Kot and is expected to reach Lahore via Shahdara in the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, the Ravi river, Nala Ben and other tributaries are in flood.

According to officials, the administration is on alert in districts adjoining the Ravi and Chenab rivers, while relief camps have been set up in various districts in view of the floods.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), there is moderate flood at Marala as well as Shakargarh and Nala Ben in Chenab, low-level flood at Khanki and Kadirabad in Chenab, while water flow is normal in other rivers including Ravi. ,

The flow of water in all the rivers, barrages, dams and canals is being continuously monitored. Meanwhile, the control room is monitoring the entire situation in Punjab.

Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said on Sunday that there is no flood in the province. He said India had released the same amount of water in the Ravi last year as well, which was 31,000 cusecs when it reached Lahore.

Regarding the arrangements regarding the flood in Dera Ghazi Khan, the Chief Minister said that the preparations are complete. However, he said, settlements should not be built inside the river, stressing that those settled on government land would definitely be removed.

NDMA asked officials to be vigilant

The National Disaster Management Authority has also issued an update on the current flood situation stating that Akhnoor is experiencing high flows as per the latest flow data from Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissionerate (PCIW) and Flood Forecasting Division (FFD). Is.

However, Marala will experience increased flow during the next 12 hours which will climb up to moderate to high flow level.

According to NDMA, Marala has a maximum level capacity of 1,100,000 cusecs, while its current level is moderate at 170,000 cusecs. The water is expected to increase by 250,000 cusecs.

The NDMA has advised that the already identified low-lying areas should be warned if the situation worsens.

“The water regulation contingency should be implemented immediately to manage the high inflow to regulate the water through the link canals,” the authority said.

According to NDMA, monitoring and updates on the developing situation are being shared with local communities and relevant authorities at all levels.

“Line departments, rescue 1122 and armed forces should be kept on standby to respond promptly to any untoward situation,” the advisory said.

PM Shahbaz directs speedy rescue efforts

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also praised the Rangers and Rescue 1122 personnel for their efforts in timely evacuation and assistance to the affected people in Shakargarh.

In a statement issued by the PM’s office, PM Shehbaz said, “The timely assistance of rangers and rescue workers saved dozens of lives, including women and children.”

He said that the entire country, including him, pays tribute to the “conscientious sons of Pakistan”.

The Prime Minister has directed rescue organizations to make elaborate arrangements to deal with the possible flood situation in Ravi, Chenab and Sutlej.

He also emphasized on raising awareness among the people in the potentially affected areas as well as on their timely and safe evacuation preparedness.

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