Islamabad: After India released about 185,000 cusecs of water, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a flood alert and warned of heavy rain in the next 24 to 48 hours.
The NDMA has notified that the release of water from India’s Ujh Barrage would cause the flow in the Ravi river to rise, which will be coupled with expected heavy rain showers in the next 48 hours.
The Austhority has directed relevant government quarters to initiate evacuation drive of locals settled along the river and move locals to safer locations.
“Last year, India had released 173,000 cusecs of water causing low-level floods at Jassar point in Ravi. Considering the previous record, around 65,000 cusecs of water was expected to reach within the next 20 to 24 hours, and low level floods were expected in the plain areas near Jassar,” the NDMA said.
The Authority said it would work with the local administration and monitor the situation till July 20 and will relocate families living along the rivers to safer locations.
“Monitoring is also underway at the Chenab river and Marala Headworks,” it added.
Authorities have stared setting up relief camps in low-lying areas of all districts in Punjab province, while rescue operation teams are also on red alert with machinery.
Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has also stated that the provincial government was prepared to deal with any untoward situation.
“We have put the entire administration on alert in view of ongoing rains and possible floods. At 10am when the report that India was releasing water came in, the relevant agencies immediately reached Ravi river.
“In case of floods, saving human lives was the first priority of the government and that is why the houses close to rive banks were being evacuated,” he added.
All public and private organisations have also been notified to remain vigilant and ready as heavy rain accompanied by thunderstorms were expected in the country in the next 48 hours.
While floods have wrecked havoc in India, the release of water into Pakistan and the ongoing heavy rainfall in Punjab province, specifically in Lahore, Narowal and Sialkot cities may trigger floods, landslides and devastation.
Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman has said that the rain would affect at least 900,000 people in the country.
The continued rain in the country have already caused considerable damages of lives and infrastructure.
So far, 76 people, including 31 children, were killed, 133 others injured and 76 houses damaged in the last two weeks in Pakistan.