Manchhar Lake has been slashed to reduce water pressure

The water level in Sindh’s Manchhar Lake reached a “hazardous level” on Saturday, prompting authorities to make a cut in the dyke on Sunday.

Irrigation Special Secretary Jamal Mangan described the cut as a “relief cut” and said it was made near RD-14 Yusuf Bagh.

The official told Dawn.com over the phone that he hadn’t been to the site yet, so that he couldn’t provide any information regarding the amount of the cut.

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The chief minister of Sindh has traveled to Sehwan to keep an eye on the situation after a cut was made in Manchhar Lake to relieve pressure in the lake. The release of this water is expected to affect approximately 125,000 people in five UCs. The weather service has forecast more rain for the country’s northern and western regions, while the southern and central parts of Punjab and the province of Sindh can expect warmer temperatures.

Prime Minister Shehbaz visits the Kacchi district of Balochistan and offers grants for laborers working on rehabilitation efforts; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) deploys a disaster aid response team to lead the humanitarian response.

Mancharr Lake’s engineer, Mahesh Kumar, also acknowledged the cut’s new construction and site, claiming it was made because the lake’s water level had begun rising and threatening nearby communities.

Since the height of the flood has already gone through the Sukkur Barrage, the water that will be released from the lake at RD-14 will finally reach the River Indus. According to the irrigation department, the river is expected to begin receiving water from the lake soon.

The dyke around the lake has been in a precarious state since yesterday evening, prompting officials to decide to cut.

Supervising Engineer Mukhtar Abro remarked, “Heavy winds induce substantial wave-wash movement.”

Hyder, a local fisherman, claimed the cut at RA-14 was “little in size” and that the water would eventually make its way into the river as the flow decreased. He claimed that the slash had been made near Arzi Goth and would reach Sehwan.

The Sindhi Report Sharjeel Inam Memon told the media that the decision to cut the embankment was based on the advice of specialists who wanted to save the cities of Sehwan and Bhan Saeedabad in the district.

“It was a tough call, but one that had to be made,” he admitted. The minister estimated that the water released by this cut would impact 125,000 people across five union councils.

He stated that the government had taken measures to guarantee the safe evacuation of the populace. He further said that Syed Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh, has arrived in Sehwan.

CM Shah told reporters in Sehwan that the controlled cut was done to relieve pressure on the lake and divert water from Sehwan. “Even my house in Bajara has been submerged when floods entered my village where my father was born before, and now my second village will be overwhelmed by water pouring in the aftermath of this controlled cut,” he continued.

The chief minister of Pakistan has stated that measures are being taken to safeguard Sehwan city and that efforts would be made to save Bhan Saeedabad via the Indus Link. He also assured residents of the five impacted UCs that their administration was on their side.

He was in Sehwan to finalize plans for moving and housing the affected people in camps and said he would assess those plans.

The lake level has stayed at 123RL for the past two nights, and the chief minister said that flood fighting efforts are still ongoing. The wave-wash, he explained, not the lake’s level was causing the dyke to break.

He claimed that Manchhar Lake was the largest lake in Asia and that “water and nature” could not be fought.

Memon added that 563 people had lost their lives in the province due to the devastating floods.

Today, Memon briefed the media on the flood situation in Hyderabad, stating that over 672,000 people had arrived at rescue camps and that dispensaries were also being created.

According to the minister, up to a hundred thousand livestock animals had also perished.

In addition, he said, many expectant moms were staying in temporary shelters.

Even though the chief minister of Sindh’s home would be submerged, “he did not object to diversion of flows to his hamlet,” the minister claimed. Instead, he claims that “tough decisions” were made to preserve the more significant population.

Kacchi, Balochistan, is the site of the Prime Minister’s latest official visit.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spent a day in Balochistan, announcing that the entire country was pulling together to solve some critical issues.

In the Kacchi district, the prime minister voiced his opinion on the reconstruction and rehabilitation work of the area’s road, rail, and bridge infrastructure following the floods, expressing his satisfaction with community participation.

The prime minister has stated that the public has been inspired by the efforts of district administration authorities and others.

He praised the efforts of everyone who had contributed to the relief and restoration. He further mentioned that the chief minister and chief secretary have communicated and collaborated with all the necessary authorities.

Those efforts would inspire the people because of “your commitment to the nation,” he stated. In addition, he said, “Teamwork is what can produce outcomes in challenging circumstances.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz promised an Rs5 million assistance payment for workers in the area and another Rs1 million for those assisting with the repair of gas pipelines. He promised that a merit-based committee would be formed to dole out the cash.

The prime minister reported that all provinces had been affected by the floods and the extensive damage. There were almost 1,300 fatalities, many animals were lost, and significant economic and infrastructure damage.

According to the Prime Minister, the Bibi Nani bridge in the Kacchi district was washed away by recent rains, cutting off transportation between Quetta and Sukkur and leaving roughly 6,000 people stuck on both ends.

He said the eight-hour repair job done by the National Highway Authority (NHA), police enforcement, and other agencies was “excellent national service.”

According to Shehbaz, the entire country rallied together whenever a disaster struck and worked tirelessly to recover. He provided Rs3 million to the workers repairing the Bibi Nani bridge.

Khurram Agha, chairman of the National Highway Authority, updated the prime minister on the bridge’s repair. The 106 kilometers of road between the Bibi Nani and Pinjar bridges, he claimed, were severely damaged.

Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, the chief minister of Balochistan, extended his gratitude to the prime minister for his trips to and assistance with the province’s flood-affected areas.

Additionally, he declared Rs2 million for employees and laborers.

Cooperation from around the world

USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, announced the deployment of a disaster assistance response team to coordinate the humanitarian response to the devastating floods.

U.S. Agency for International Development tweeted that “this specialized team is assessing damage, determining priority needs, and working with humanitarian partners in the country.”

State-run, The third flight from Qatar reportedly arrived at Karachi airport today with beds, pillows, blankets, and medical supplies, according to Pakistan Television.

In the meantime, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz appealed for aid from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund and other international organizations after learning that children in his country had been negatively affected by climate-related disasters.

He said that one-third of the total death toll was attributed to children, and over 400 of them had perished in the recent floods.

And since June 14th, 1,290 individuals have lost their lives due to the water. In addition, the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) reported that 11 more people were injured during the previous day.

A total of 80 districts across five provinces have been declared disaster areas, with 31 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, 17 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 3 in Punjab.

The NFRCC also said in a separate report that the Karakoram Highway (KKH) was open to light traffic following repairs at Zaid Khar.

“Heavy traffic will take some time, but in the meantime, the Babusar route is being utilized to move fuel and vital items in GB.” It was stated that Frontier Works Organization (FWO) workers were working around the clock to restore heavy traffic along the entire KKH.

Predictions of Continuous Rain 

The Met Office forecasted Saturday that upper portions of the country would get thundershowers for the next three to four days, while Sindh, Balochistan, and south Punjab will enjoy hot and humid weather.

The Met Office reported that the country’s northern and central regions were affected by weak ocean currents from the Arabian Sea.

From Saturday night through Tuesday, this weather system is predicted to bring rain-wind/thundershower (with isolated heavy falls) to the regions of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Murree, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Mianwali, Khushab, Sargo.

On Sunday (today) and Monday, it is predicted to be rain-wind/thundershower (with isolated heavy falls) in the provinces of Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Malakand, Bajaur, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Swabi, Nowshera, Kurram, Kohat, and Waziristan.