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ISLAMABAD: As many as 544,829 people were evacuated and 310,526 cattle were transported to safer places owing to recent devastating flooding in Sutlej River which now has lower down.

According to the latest data released by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Sutlej River at Ganda Singh Wala, Sulemanki, and Islam are at normal level. Vast crop areas in District Kasur, Okara, Bahawalnagar, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawalpur, and Lodhran were seriously affected by the floods.

According to officials of the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the Punjab government has deployed 1,408 rescue persons with 396 boats to evacuate the people and shift them to safer places.

With the issuance of timely early warning/advisory and pro-active engagement of all stakeholders by the NDMA, coordinated evacuation of vulnerable/at-risk population from low-lying areas adjacent to River Sutlej has been ensured in districts, Kasur, Okara, Bahawalnagar, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawalpur, and Lodhran.

The officials said that the affected districts are major maize, cotton, paddy, and vegetable-producing region of the country and floods have caused serious damage to the standing crops but at this point, monetary losses cannot be measured, however, after receding of water flows, the authorities will calculate the damages to the crops and property.

According to officials, the government has started filing a report on the losses to crops and properties in the affected districts around River Sutlej as flooding has submerged thousands of acres of land besides cutting off road access to dozens of villages in the affected districts.

The government of Punjab has set-up 249 medical camps for the affected population, wherein, in past one week 64,597 people have been treated. Moreover, 318 relief camps have been also established for the affected people and 112,735 cooked food packets distributed among the evacuated people.

According to the NDMA report, in the past 24 hours, one more person was killed owing to the heaving rains in district Kurram of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province owing to house collapse. The ongoing floods triggered by monsoons, so far have resulted in the deaths of 216 people, injuring 320, destroying 5,770 houses, and killing 1,260 livestock during the current rainy season that started on June 25, 2023, provisional figures released by the NDMA revealed.

Out of a total of 5,770 damaged houses, 2,026have been completely destroyed and 3,744partially damaged. The floodwaters have also swept away a total of five bridges, of which, four in Balochistan and one in G-B as well as sweeping away 23.82 kilometres of roads, of which, 22 kilometres in Balochistan and 1.82 kilometres in G-B. Most of the houses are damaged in Balochistan, wherein, a total of 4,193 houses are damaged, of which, 1,762 are fully destroyed and 2,431 are partially damaged, followed by 572 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), of which,110 are fully destroyed and 462 are partially damaged, in the AJK region a total 474 houses are damaged, of which, 109 are fully destroyed and 365 are partially damaged.

The torrential rains resulted in the loss of 1,260 livestock, of which, 697 in Balochistan, 285 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), 213 in Sindh, 37 in G-B, 25 in the AJK, and three in Punjab.

According to the NDMA’s data, the majority of the deaths are reported in Punjab where so far a total of 73 people including 33 men, 12 women, and 28 children have lost their lives, while another 165 people including 72 men, 52 women, and 41 children have sustained injuries. Moreover, 82 houses were also damaged in Punjab of which 77 were partially and five fully destroyed and three livestock were also killed.

In KPK,62 people including 18 men, nine women and 35 children have lost their lives owing to various rain-related incidents. In KPK,91 people including 40 men, 19 women, and 32 children have been injured.

In Sindh province, 24 people including 10 men, four women, and 10 children died owing to rain-related incidents. NDMA, so far reported 10 injuries from Sindh of which five men, four women and one child and a total of 342 houses are damaged of which 18 fully and 324 partially.

In Balochistan province, a total of 21 people including eight men, five women and eight children lost their lives, wherein, 27 people including 17 men, three women, and seven children sustained injuries.

In Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 11 men have lost their lives owing to the floodwaters and five men sustained injuries, no house has been damaged in Islamabad and no cattle loss is reported from the federal capital.

In the G-B region, floodwaters have killed seven people including three men, three women, and one child, while two men sustained injuries in the G-B- region and 37 livestock losses are also reported in the region.

The authorities have reported 18 deaths in the AJK region, including four men, seven women, and seven children. In the AJK, 20 people including 10 men and 10 women also sustained injuries. Floodwaters have killed 25 cattle in the AJK region.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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