Islamabad, Aug 29 (EFE).- Pakistan on Tuesday raised the flood alert in the country’s east, where more than 128,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the Sutlej river flowing at its highest level in 35 years, owing to discharge of water from neighboring India.
The high flux of water in Sutlej has now moved downstream after causing widespread damage in the city of Bahawalpur and its surroundings in the Punjab province, which has been the worst-affected by floods, as per local media reports.
More than 128,000 people and over 50,000 animals were evacuated from villages and settlements susceptible to damage after water entered the region, Bahawalpur’s deputy commissioner Zaheer Anwar told reporters.
The river’s waters are now headed towards southern Punjab, with a medium-flow that is now decreasing but threatens to flood at least six districts, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
Floods in the river Sutlej – which originates in Tibet and crosses India before merging into the Indus river – has completely cut off several villages and areas in Pakistan, submerging hundreds of hectares of farmland.
Rains and floods leave significant human and material losses in South Asian countries every year, especially during the monsoon period between June and September.
Last year between June and October, Pakistan – one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change worldwide – witnessed its worst floods since 2010, resulting in the death of over 1,700 people and more than a million heads of livestock.
As many as eight million people were displaced and the total number of affected population stood at 33 million, or one-seventh of the population. EFE