Aug 18, 2010

Balochistan: No Improvement to Disaster Relief

As rains continue into the tenth day, the situation in Balochistan and other areas of Pakistan is deteriorating. Water-borne diseases have started to spread and people are protesting against the slow delivery of aid to the region. Meanwhile Gilgit-Baltistan has been cut off as the Karakorum Highway is closed and the Sindh province is in danger of more flooding as water pressure is mounting on the Indus river barrages.


Below is an article published by the Express Tribune:


A flood torrent from river Indus completely submerged Muzaffagarh-Ali Pur Road, while low-lying areas of Sultan city were inundated as the safety dyke burst.

Wasanday Wali Town of Khangarh was inundated as well as the adjoining villages of Umar Pur South and Dheday Wali.

Rohailanwali has also been comepletey ravaged by the raging waters from River Indus, while a water torrent of over 630,000 cusecs is flowing through Taunsa Barrage. Meanwhile, thousands of trapped people await relief assistance.

A flood torrent from River Indus has also submerged Rojhan in the Rajanpur district. The torrent entered Rojhan after wreaking havoc in Jampur and Kot Mithan areas.

A breach also reportedly appeared in the Qadirpur Canal inundating Shikarpur, Aqilpur and other adjoining areas. Thousands of stranded people are looking forward to help from the government.

Water levels are constantly on the rise in the Sukkur and Guddu Barrages, with sources predicting a high level flood in the next couple of days as pressure mounts on the dykes.

A surge of 20,000 cusecs of water was recorded at Guddu Barrage while that of 35,000 cusecs was recorded at Sukkur Barrage.

The water level in the Kotri Barrage also increased to 34,000 cusecs during the past 24 hours. A low level flood has been reported in Kotri barrage.

The water level moving upstream at Kotri Barrage is 308,000 cusecs, while the downstream it is 270,109 cusecs.

The Kotri Barrage Chief Engineer said a flood torrent will pass from Kotri Barrage on August 22. There are 26 vulnerable points within the barrage while five have been declared as extremely sensitive.

Meanwhile, 31 camps have been set up for the flood victims from Upper Sindh. About 5,300 people are residing in these camps at the moment.

Dozens of villages were flooded after a breach in the Kerther Canal near Jaffarabad in Balochistan.

Flood water is likely to reach Usta Muhammad after destroying Dera Allah Yar and Rojhan Jamali. The breach in Kerther Canal measures 300 feet.

Around 90 per cent of the locals have evacuated Usta Muhammad and have taken refuge at safer locations.

Meanwhile sources say water borne diseases such as gastroenteritis are fast spreading in the flood hit areas of the province.

In Dera Allahyar, flood affectees blocked Quetta-Sukkur highway on Tuesday, in protest against the lack of provision of relief items and shelter.

The protestors burnt tyres and shouted slogans against government authorities for the delay in provision of relief goods.

They said they are facing difficulties while their families are being forced to stay without shelter in the scorching heat.

Gilgit has been cut off from other districts due to floods while rains continue for the 10th day running.

The Karakorram Road has been closed due to water overflow from adjoining streams and all roads leading out from Gilgit to Hunza, Skardu and Diamir, have been blocked.

So far in Gilgit, 183 people have been killed in the floods while 504 houses have been affected.

The floods have also destroyed 87,000 canals of agricultural land and crops, while dozens of bridges have also collapsed. Food shortage is also prevalent in Gilgit since it got cut off from other villages.