The water is more than 1.5 meters high in the streets, Muhammad Amin, a doctor at a reception center, told AFP. “The only access road is under water”. People could only come to the camp by boat.
The Punjab provincial government blames neighboring India for the floods. After heavy monsoon rains, the authorities there diverted water from the retention zones into the Sutlej River, which then burst its banks on the Pakistan side. When the Sutlej flooded several districts last week, rescue operations were expanded. Most of the evacuations were in Bahāwalpur and Kasur districts. According to the National Civil Protection Agency, the water level of the Sutlej River is likely to continue to rise.
The Indian authorities could not immediately be reached for comment. But India regularly drains excess water into rivers to Pakistan. There, the civil defense warned of further monsoon rains, which are likely to aggravate the situation in Punjab.
Already 175 fatalities due to storms
Floods and landslides have killed at least 175 people in Pakistan since the start of the rainy season at the end of June.
Pakistani authorities are still struggling to clean up the damage caused by the massive floods of summer 2022. At that time, 1,739 people died in the floods. Almost a third of the country was under water, affecting 33 million people. The damage to the country’s economy amounted to the equivalent of 30 billion US dollars. The monsoon season started in July and will last until September.
kle/as (afp, ape)