Vehari Braces for Sutlej Flooding as Thousands are Relocated to Safety

Web DeskAugust 23, 2023

After causing widespread devastation in districts like Kasur and Pakpattan, the Sutlej River’s Sulemanki Headwork is anticipated to deliver approximately 191,000 cusecs of water to Vehari. This deluge is expected to hit the region on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

The water levels at the river’s Islam Headworks are steadily rising, with an inflow of 51,152 cusecs and an outflow of 49,607 cusecs. Additionally, the flow of water at Head Syphon has reached 42,685 cusecs.

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More than 40,000 residents of Vehari have already been relocated to safe locations, as the flood is expected to affect 113 villages and scattered settlements. Tragically, standing crops spanning over 50,000 acres in the district are likely to be destroyed by the floodwaters.

The Deputy Commissioner of Vehari, Syed Asif Hussain Shah, disclosed that 80% of individuals residing in low-lying areas have been moved to safety. To support those affected, the district administration and police teams are actively involved in evacuating more people from these vulnerable areas.

Three tents and 20 flood relief camps, equipped with essential facilities, have been established in the district to accommodate relocated residents.

Reports indicate that as the floodwater volume increased, protective small dams in certain areas began to break. It was observed that a protective small dam in Lakhuka near Dad Jamlera had breached, inundating vast stretches of land.

The collapse of this dam has resulted in flooding across multiple areas and extensive damage to standing crops. Notably, the already deteriorated Sahoka Road faces the risk of being flooded, potentially causing transportation difficulties for those traveling to Burewala.

Several flood-hit areas have been cut off from land connectivity with other regions. In many instances, flood-affected individuals are residing in the open air, and rescue teams have yet to reach them.

According to the Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), although water levels at the Sutlej’s Ganda Singh Wala point remain high, they are gradually receding, with 122,000 cusecs of water flowing.

However, a high flood is reported at Sulemanki Headwork, with a flow of 171,000 cusecs and still rising. Additionally, there is a medium-level flood at Sutlej’s Islam Headworks, and the water level there is increasing. A high-level flood is expected at Islam Headworks in the next 24 hours, and authorities have been alerted.

The low-lying areas of Kasur, Okara, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Lodhran, and Bahawalpur are all under flood, according to the PDMA.

Furthermore, there is a potential risk of medium to high-level flooding at Mangla in the Jhelum River from August 23 to 25. This could affect Gujrat, Jhelum, Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha, and low-lying areas of Khushab.

There is also a risk of flooding in low-lying areas of Jhang, Khanewal, Muzaffargarh, and Multan. District administrations and commissioners in these regions have been alerted to the situation.

The PDMA Director-General has urged authorities to clear encroachments from the Jhelum River channel to prevent inhabited lands from being destroyed by floodwaters.

In anticipation of a significant flood in the Sutlej River, the Lodhran district administration has established relief camps and three large tent villages at 24 different locations for its residents.

The next 24 hours are deemed crucial for flood relief efforts in Lodhran, with the district administration actively working around the clock to assist affected residents.

In Government Graduate College Lodhran alone, more than 300 tents have been set up, with the capacity to accommodate over 3,000 people.

The expected flood in the district is likely to affect around 135 villages in Lodhran and 190 in Kahroorpakka tehsils. Authorities are making every effort to provide assistance to those in need during this challenging time.

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