Floodwater from breaches in Manchar Lake is increasing pressure along Indus Link Canal near Bhan Syedabad town after having inundated several villages in the union councils of Wahur, Arazi, Dal, Bubak and Jaffarabad in Sehwan taluka on Wednesday.
The floodwater poses serious threat to Bhan Syedabad, which has a population of 150,000, prompting Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Fareeduddin Mustafa to issue an alert and ask the town residents to evacuate to safe places.
He said the embankments of Sem Nullah (rainwater drain) and Indus Link Canal might give in to the mounting pressure. The Nullah was overflowing near Talti and Karampur area and water was moving to Talti town.
A large number of residents helped government officials raise dykes of Indus Link Canal with the help of heavy machinery to protect the town.
Likewise, machinery has been moved to sensitive points along Aral Wah to raise its embankment to save Sehwan from the lake’s floodwater, which has flooded Qalandari CNG filling station and Toll Plaza near Sehwan.
N-55 motorway from Bhan Syedabad to Sehwan is under floodwater, hence Motorway police has completely sealed the highway at Sehwan.
MORE VILLAGE INUNDATED: Around100 more villages came under water at Kotohar, Arazi and Bakhtiarpur near Sehwan as district administration evacuated population from Karampur area.
Karampur assistant commissioner Iqbal Hussain said that if floodwaters entered Bhan Syedabad after breaches in Indus Link canal, the water would then move to Dadu.
Jamshoro DC Fareeduddin Mustafa has issued an alert asking the residents of Bhan Syedabad to evacuate to safer places.
The embankments of Sem Nullah and Indus Link canal were weak and posed serious threat to the town. Sim Nullah is overflowing near Talti and Karampur and water is moving to Talti.
Pakistan Army and Jamshoro administration launched rescue operation and rescued a total of 250 people through boats from five union councils of Sehwan.
Indus Link Canal near between Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad is withstanding heavy pressure of floodwaters coming from two breaches in Manchar Lake and a breach in Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD).
The canal serves as the last defence line for Bhan Syedabad town. Indus Link was flowing to its capacity, said Sindh Minister for Irrigation Jam Khan Shoro.
He was optimistic that since Indus River was showing recession as water flows were continuously being released into the river through Aral head and tail regulators of the lake.
“Danister Wah’s regulator can also be opened once the river flows show more recession,” said Jam Khan, adding that overtopping in Indus Link was reported by Wednesday evening which was a disturbing sign.
Sindh special irrigation secretary Jamal Mangan told Dawn from Sehwan over phone that the overtopping was reported at a few RDs upstream from zero point of Indus Link.
He said that efforts were being made to enable Indus Link to withstand this pressure.
The lake, meanwhile, showed another sign of depletion on Wednesday, dropping to 122.2 RL at 6pm when the last gauge was recorded. The lake’s level began to drop after two breaches in the lake’s embankment and another breach in MNVD at RD-10.
According to official figures, the lake’s level dropped to 122.3RL at 12 noon from 122.5RL at 6am on Wednesday. Then at 6pm it stood at 122.2RL. Earlier, the level stood at 123.25RL and dropped to123.2RL on Tuesday.
According to Wapda chief engineer (water) Sukkur Naeem Qadir Mangi, the level in MNVD remained unchanged with only a slight recession in flows due to a breach at RD-10 made on Tuesday.
HIGH FLOOD IN INDUS: The Indus remained in high flood at Kotri barrage with 583,882 cusecs downstream discharge at 6pm against upstream discharge of 604,127 cusecs. Only a marginal drop was seen in the upstream discharge at the barrage on Wednesday.
A flow of 604,147 cusecs was recorded upstream at 6pm on Tuesday while it stood at 604,127 cusecs at 12 noon on Wednesday.
Guddu barrage attained “normal” flows with 205,918 cusecs upstream and 198,453 cusecs downstream at 6pm while Sukkur barrage attained ‘low flood’ level with 288,770 cusecs up and downstream discharge.
The Dadu-Moro gauge has shown a reduction of 0.05ft upstream Kotri barrage, dropping to 130.35ft from 130.4ft. “This gauge has been steady at 130.4ft for quite some time and not dropping. But it has dropped now,” said a Sukkur barrage official.