Sutlej River Experiencing High Flood Levels at Two Points in Pakistan

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The Sutlej River in Pakistan continues to face “high” flood levels at the Islam and Ganda Singh Wala Headworks on Saturday. According to the Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the water flow at Islam Headworks reached 147,230 cusecs, which is nearly three times the normal flow. At Ganda Singh Wala Headworks, the water flow was recorded at 122,326 cusecs. Meanwhile, the flood level at Sulemanki headworks was classified as “medium” with a water flow of 83,720 cusecs.

This map displays the water flow at different points in the Sutlej River at 1 pm on August 26. (Source: FFD website)

A river situation forecast revealed that the Indus River is currently experiencing a “low” flood level at Kalabagh, Chashma, and Guddu headworks. The forecast predicts “scattered wind, thunderstorm, and rain of moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls” over the upper catchments of major rivers within the next 24 hours.
In the meantime, a weekly weather outlook by the FFD stated that no major rivers, except the Sutlej River, were expected to encounter high flood situations.
The Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesperson reported that continuous monitoring is being conducted in control rooms, overseeing all rivers, dams, barrages, and streams.

A man navigating through the flooded town of Burewala in Punjab province, on August 25. (Source: AFP)

Furthermore, PTV News shared a notification from the PDMA, issued a day earlier, notifying residents about the possibility of inundation in various areas along the Sutlej River.
The notification highlighted the inflow and outflow levels on August 24 at the Bhakra and Pong Dams in India, indicating that their reservoirs were already filled to capacity. It warned of potential high-level flooding in the Sutlej River due to the situation in the Indian reservoirs, and emphasized that additional releases from these reservoirs could lead to untoward situations. The notification stated that extensive flooding is likely in areas such as Kasur, Okara, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Lodhran, Multan, and Bahawalpur along the Sutlej River.
The PDMA cautioned that numerous societies, small towns, and villages built in flood plains or alongside the Sutlej River may become inundated during high-level flooding. A list of such areas has been shared with the deputy commissioners.
No casualties have been reported thus far. Approximately 8,500 people and 350 animals were evacuated within 24 hours from various flood-affected districts of Punjab. The interim Chief Minister of Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, visited a flood-affected village near Okara district’s Attari to assess the water situation in the Sutlej River. He observed that the river had received 278,000 cusecs of water after 35 years.

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