Punjab Government initiates rescue operations as unprecedented flood in 35 years strikes Sutlej River

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Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, announced on Saturday that immediate rescue efforts were being undertaken in response to a flood event described as “unprecedented in 35 years” occurring in the Sutlej River.

The Flood Warning Centre (FWC) had issued an urgent alert a day prior, indicating a significant rise in water levels of the Sutlej River, with expectations that critical conditions would persist.

The FWC also warned of the likelihood of high to very high flood levels at the Sulemanki Headworks and the Islam Headworks starting today and from August 21 onwards, respectively.

In a message shared on social media platform X, Naqvi informed that the government was closely monitoring the situation as approximately “278,000 cusecs of water” surged near the Ganda Singh border in Kasur.

Naqvi mentioned that the water discharge was originating from the Indian side.

After visiting the flood-affected areas and relief camps, Naqvi expressed his appreciation for the continuous efforts of the district administration, Rescue 1122, police, and irrigation teams over the past three days.

He emphasized that while this flood event was unparalleled in 35 years, the government’s dedicated teams were on-site, committed to ensuring the safety and assistance of the affected population. He expressed confidence in overcoming this challenge together.

Later in the day, during a media briefing in Lahore, Naqvi revealed that floodwaters, rising 10 to 12 feet, had entered multiple villages in Kasur, leading to the evacuation of around 6,500 people from affected areas within the last 24 hours.

Naqvi asserted that if necessary, forceful evacuations would be carried out from vulnerable villages to prevent any loss of life, highlighting the imposition of Section 144 in the region.

Furthermore, Naqvi shared that the Lahore commissioner and officials from the Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority were supervising the ongoing rescue operations at the affected site.