Monsoon deluge: Over 100 villages flooded

Jhang tehsil, Athara Hazari affected. Floodwater approaching Shorkot and Ahmedpur Sial tehsils. 

Jhang tehsil, Athara Hazari affected. Floodwater approaching Shorkot and Ahmedpur Sial tehsils. PHOTO:FILE

LAHORE / SARGODHA / JHANG: Crops on hundreds of acres of land in villages in Jhang tehsil were destroyed in a high-level flood in River Chenab, the district administration said on Thursday. More than 100 villages in the district have been inundated.

Officials said floodwater had reached the protective bund around Jhang’s urban area. Sargodha Road had been closed for traffic and floodwater has flowed onto the Jhang-Sargodha Road at three points. They said 50 villages in Athara Hazari tehsil had been inundated. Officials said link roads had been closed.

River Chenab combines with River Jhelum at Trimmu. Officials said that floodwater had overflowed at that point causing heavy losses to crops. Emergency District Officer Tariq Saeed said there was a high-level flood at Trimmu Headworks. Rescue-1122 officials have helped move residents of villages around the headworks to safer locations, he said.

The water is now heading towards Shorkot and Ahmedpur Sial tehsils, officials said. The district administration and Rescue-1122 have begun flood relief and evacuation operations in flooded areas. Officials said 18 flood relief camps had been set up. “We have sufficient stocks of food and medicines for the affected people and fodder and vaccines for cattle,” DCO Ghazi Amanullah said. He said he was monitoring the rescue and relief operations.

Emergency Services Punjab Director Arshad Zia requested 26 rescue officials from Faisalabad, Toba, Sargodha and Sahiwal to help with rescue activities in Jhang.

Tariq Saeed said no one had died in the flood but Rahab Ali, 55, had suffered a snake bite in Kot Khaira. “Rescue-1122 workers took him to the Jhang DHQ Hospital.”

Federal Parliamentary Secretary Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha visited Talibwala Bridge, Kot Naja, Khana Chak and Kot Momin tehsil in Sargodha district, which had been affected by floods. He urged the district administration to take philanthropists and journalists from the area on board for flood relief activities.

Ranjha told officials to create a WhatsApp group for civil administration officials, district government, elected representatives and union council members of the area to share information and updates regarding floods and relief activities.

Emergency Services meeting

A meeting was called by Rescue-1122 Punjab DG Arshad Zia in Lahore on Thursday to discuss strategies and the Flood Action Plan for the province.

The meeting was held at the Rescue-1122 Headquarters.  Regional Emergency Officer (North) Riffat Zia, Regional Emergency Officer (South) Zafar Shah, Deputy Directors Faheem Ahmad Qureshi, Foaad Shahzad, Ayaz Aslam, Naeem Mukhtar and Irfan Naseer were present on the occasion.

Zia said the Flood Monitoring Cell at the Rescue-1122 Headquarters in Lahore had opened. “This would ensure provision of timely emergency response and an effective coordination among all districts.”

Officials of the Rescue-1122 Communication Wing told the director general that 50 boat operators, 10 boats, one ambulance and two boat transport trucks had been sent to Chiniot and Jhang districts. The two districts had experienced continuous heavy rain and flooding on Wednesday and Thursday. They said two Operations deputy directors had been sent to the districts to monitor relief activities.

Officials said the headquarters has been regularly communicating with the Flood Forecasting Division and the Meteorological Department to set up an early warning system.

The Flood Monitoring Cell will operate round-the-clock to gather information about floods and rain-related emergencies.

The Rescue-1122 DG told senior officers to supervise flood related activities and stay on high alert according to the duty roster to ensure an effective emergency response and timely coordination.

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