Monsoon 2013: Floods inundate villages in Sindh


HYDERABAD: 

As the water level continues to rise in River Indus, hundreds of villages in the riverbed areas of Sindh are being evacuated. A low flood was recorded at the Sukkur and Kotri barrages on Thursday despite a drop in the flood water at the upstream Guddu barrage.

Some 27 villages have been inundated by flood waters in Dadu district. In Matiari district, 32 villages met the same fate.

“Almost all of the Katcha area has come under water. This has lead to displacement of the inhabitants of thousands of villages built on the riverbed,” said Haleem Adil Shaikh, former provincial adviser for relief.

Some 200 Katcha villages have got submerged under water, Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro Sajid Abro told The Express Tribune. As a relief measure, about a dozen relief camps have been set in the affected areas where food, water and medical services are being provided, Abro added.

Shaikh pointed out that there is an urgent need to supply ration, tents, mosquito nets and health services to the displaced people. “So far the government is housing only around 20,000 people in the relief camps whereas the actual number of affected people is as high as 700,000,” he said.

Evacuated districts include Benazirabad, Dadu, Matiari, Jamshoro, Hyderabad and Thatta.

According to the National Disaster Management Autho­rity, 2,745 villages in Sindh have either been inundated or swamped by flood.  The flood has also destroyed crops on around 225,000 acres in the province and damaged over 28,000 houses.

On Thursday, Sukkur barrage released 370,739 cusecs to the downstream Kotri barrage where 302,113 cusecs floodwater was recorded. The flood situation is likely to continue through mid-September. But another torrential spell of monsoon rains in early September, as forecast by the met department, could prolong the spell.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2013.