Another Sindh town goes under water
LARKANA: Unchecked flow of floodwaters from Tori and Begari breaches inundated Qubo Saeed Khan, a thriving town of Qambar-Shahdadkot district, on Tuesday, cutting all road links and making it impossible for the affected people to move to safety.
District Coordination Officer Ghulam Yaseen Shar said evacuation of about 150 villages along a 51km dyke had been ordered and people had started moving out.
However, villagers have complained that warning had been issued at the eleventh hour. “How can we shift to safe places without transport.”
The Qubo Saeed Khan town with a population of about 20,000 is facing water surge from three directions — Shahdadkot, Chukhi and the FP embankment.
Waters gushing from six cuts in Saifullah Magsi branch at Chukhi joined the flow from Shahdadkot to submerge the entire town.
MNA Ramesh Lal and local landowner Mir Mithal Khan Mugheri said the entire taluka with a population of 150,000 had been inundated and floodwaters were flowing towards the Zero Point near Saroh lake and Hamal lake.
The water level at a temporary dyke around Shahdadkot has dropped by nine inches from 8.5 feet.
Mir Mugheri said about 6,000 people were marooned in Qubo Saeed Khan. The DCO said 100 people had been rescued by helicopters.
Floodwaters from breaches in Saifullah Magsi branch at Ghulam Mustafa Jarwar and Ishaque Mugheri villages are mounting further pressure on the town. The DCO said Shahdadkot town remained under threat.
In Qambar, Chandio tribe’s chief Sardar Khan accused the government of having failed to work out a plan to systematically fight the flood and evacuate people.
He told reporters that the Main Nara Valley Drain, Panhwaro shakh, Naseer shakh and Supro bund would not be able to withstand the mounting pressure and Warah, Qambar, Nasirabad, Khairpur Nathan Shah and Gozo areas were under threat.
He said heavy machinery was needed to fortify dykes on a war footing as had been done in Shahdadkot.
He said the floodwaters were likely to flow between Hamal lake and the Naseer and Panhwaro shakhs.
There are about 15,000 people in a relief camp set up in Larkana for families displaced from Qambar-Shahdadkot.
Water is receding after a 200-foot erosion in the dyke about 6km from Larkana.
However, local people said the Indus was more dangerous while receding than it was while in flood. Irrigation officials are dumping stones to strengthen the weakened portion of the dyke.
Sindh Assemby Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said the situation was under control. He said the National Highway Authority was helping in efforts to save the dyke.
Larkana DCO Hassan Naqvi said a 35-foot portion of the dyke eroded by flood torrents was yet to be repaired. A large number of trucks loaded with stones are dumping stones under the supervision of Mr Khuhro.
An irrigation official said the crisis would be over because the work would continue during the night.
The DCO said there were more than 100,000 displaced people in relief camps and at other places in the district.
Pano Aaqil’s General Officer Commanding Maj-Gen Nasrullah visited the dyke on Tuesday. Sukkur Barrage Right Bank Chief Engineer Agha Aijaz Pathan told him that two new spurs would be built after the flood season to minimise chances of erosion in future.
Our staff correspondent in Hyderabad adds: According to the Sukkur barrage control room, a flow of 938,438 cusecs upstream and 916,033 cusecs downstream was recorded at 8pm on Tuesday.
Off-taking canals of the barrage are getting 22,405 cusecs. Flood-fighting efforts are under way on the left bank of the Indus.
The barrage’s Chief Engineer Manzoor Sheikh said the water level at the Dadu-Moro location had dropped by three decimal points.
PANIC IN KOTRI
Panic gripped Kotri town as seepages were reported from a protective wall along the river. Immediate steps were taken by the administration to stop the seepages with the help of a large number of local people.
The kutcha area of Khanpur near Kotri has been inundated. Hyderabad DCO Aftab Ahmed Khatri said the situation was under control and there was no reason for panic.
Efforts are being made to save Manjhand taluka and manage the water in Manchhar lake.
Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Tuesday that floodwaters from Shahdadkot would fall into the lake in six or seven days.
He expressed the hope that the level of the river would drop by then to allow disposal of water from the lake into it. Otherwise, it would pose a threat to the lake’s banks, he said.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is scheduled to visit Hyderabad on Wednesday. According to officials he will be briefed at the Kotri barrage on the situation. by M.B. Kalhoro