- Murad Ali Shah urges people not to act as experts on flooding and natural disasters
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday dismissed claims that flooding in some areas of Sindh was artificially created, and asked the public “not to act as experts on the subject.”
“Our people are acting as experts on flooding. I request them not to do that and refrain from spreading fake news,” he said in a press conference.
“Such people are also stating that the government of Sindh should have drained Manchar Lake prior to increase in its water level. Let me make it clear, that it is a very difficult task and we have taken all possible steps in the crisis situation.”
He also clarified that the decision to create diversions in waterways are being taken by concerned departments and not by individuals as being claimed by some.
Shah noted that the government was now focusing on restoring railway services without diverting water to other areas.
“Some of the rice crop is unaffected from floods and we are making efforts to save and cultivate whatever is left,” he added.
Shah said that the water level was dropping in a lot of areas and the provincial government was focusing on ensuring supply of medicines to flood affectees.
Authorities are scrambling to evacuate people from the flooded areas of Sindh as the meteorological department said moderate to heavy rainfall is expected in multiple districts of the province in the next 24 to 72 hours. At least 638 people have died in the province including 274 children.
The death toll from the devastating floods triggered by monsoon rains since the middle of June this year has reached 1,481. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted more rains in some of the worst-hit areas of the country, especially in Sindh.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) daily flood situation report issued on Tuesday, out of 1,481 deaths, 638 were in Sindh, 303 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 278 in Balochistan, 191 in Punjab, 48 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 22 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The NDMA said that the rain waters across the country have also resulted in injuries to 12,748 people since June 14.
The floods have caused damage to at least 12,418 kilometres of road networks across the country, of which, 8,431 kilometres highways network has been damaged in Sindh, 1,575 in KPK, 1,500 kilometres in Balochistan, 896 kilometres in Punjab, and 16 kilometres in GB.
The floods have affected 81 districts out of 160 districts of the country.
The government has started a damage assessment drive in 30 districts of Balochistan, three districts of Punjab, four districts of GB, while the survey in rest of the country will commence once rain waters start receding.