Desperate efforts on to save Dadu, Bhan Syedabad from possible floods

Boat carrying flood victims catches fire

Several areas in Sindh remained inundated with floodwater as authorities continued efforts to safeguard Sehwan’s Bhan Syedabad city and Dadu city from a possible deluge.

Dadu Deputy Commissioner (DC) Syed Murtaza Ali Shah said that work on Ring bund to protect Dadu city continued on Tuesday morning.

MPA Pir Mujeeb ul Haq, elected from Dadu’s PS-74 constituency, said heavy machinery was being employed to raise the bund. He said the floodwater was estimated to be at a distance of six kilometres from Dadu city in the morning.

MNA Rafique Jamali, elected from Dadu’s NA-235 constituency, said work was also ongoing to strengthen Main Nara Valley Drain’s protective dyke.

In Sehwan, efforts were underway to save Bhan Syedabad city, said MNA Sikandar Ali Rahoupoto, who had been elected from the area’s NA-233 constituency.

“The situation where Ring bund is located was bad at night due to strong winds and tides, but it is back to normal now,” he said, adding that machinery was being used to complete work on Bhan Syedabad’s Ring bund.

According to Sehwan Assistant Commissioner Iqbal Hussain, 450 villages in seven union councils of the tehsil were flooded by water from Manchar Lake.

He said relief efforts in the area were ongoing and those affected by floods were being shifted to safe spots. “We have put up over 50 relief camps and tent cities,” he added.

Sindh is where floodwaters from record monsoon rains and glacial melt in the mountainous north and hill torrents from Balochistan have converged and are wreaking havoc after leaving a trail of deaths and destruction elsewhere.

Manchar Lake – the country’s largest freshwater lake – has been the main source of the threat, compelling authorities to breach its protective dykes and other structures along its paths in an attempt to divert the flow of water towards less populated areas and prevent flooding in densely populated regions.

Meanwhile, Irrigation Emergency Cell In-Charge Sher Muhammad Mallah said the water level in Manchar Lake was recorded at the 122.6-foot reduced level (RL) on Tuesday morning and the water level in the Indus River was at 127.4-foot RL at the Dadu-Moro Bridge. The river’s water level was recorded at 109.5-foot RL at the Amri Bridge, he added.

Irrigation Engineer Mahesh Kumar said water from Manchar Lake was being discharged into the Indus at RD-96, RD-99, RD-98, RD-199 and Karampur, and the flow of water was recorded at 50,000 cusecs.

The Flood Forecasting Division’s website showed there was a high-level flood in the Indus at Kotri.

Later in the day, Johi Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Ali Baloch said that a fire had erupted in a boat belonging to a flood-affected family.

“There were 15 people aboard. They were travelling from Johi to Dadu city,” he said, adding that the blaze started because of a petrol leak in the boat’s generator.

He confirmed that no fatalities or injuries were reported in the incident. “The family managed to jump out of the boat in time and were then moved to safer locations in rescue boats,” Baloch added.

In a meeting to get an overview of rescue and relief operations in flood-affected areas today, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was told that 371,440 patients has been brought to health camps set up across the province.

“Of these, 18,804 reported gastro-related diseases, 20,968 skin related, 8,731 had malaria (suspected), 80 dengue (suspected), and 43,903 complained of other issues,” a press release issued by the CM’s House said. So far, 169 patients have died at the camps, it revealed.

On the other hand, farmers in several villages of Sindh have braved the rising waters to stay on and try to keep alive their remaining cattle.

Those stranded by unprecedented floods were running low on feed for their cattle, officials said on Tuesday, as airdropping supplies proved a difficult task.

“It is a serious issue,” an army official told Reuters. “Airdrops would not work, but it is important that fodder be supplied to livestock.” The situation is set to worsen as weather officials have warned of more rain in the next few days, posing a fresh threat to thousands of displaced people living in tents or in the open alongside highways.

Officials estimate about 700,000 cattle have been lost in the floods nationwide, and the rest, which form a critical asset in a poor country, are growing thin for lack of food.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at