Pakistan sets up emergency camps, says India releases water into Sutlej

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In this file photo, volunteers rescue flood affected people with a boat in Pakistan on Aug. 1, 2015. (AFP)
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Authorities have set up emergency camps to evacuate people from low-lying areas after India released more than 204,000 cusecs of water into the Sutlej river without any prior warning. (File/ Reuters)
Updated 22 August 2019

Pakistan sets up emergency camps, says India releases water into Sutlej

  • Flood warnings issued for six districts in Punjab province
  • Increase in water levels poses a threat to low-lying areas, officials say

ISLAMABAD: Authorities have set up emergency camps to evacuate people from low-lying areas after India released more than 204,000 cusecs of water into the Sutlej river without any prior warning, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Tuesday.
The NDMA further advised districts located along the bank of the Sutlej river to take necessary precautions.
“Relevant district administrations, rescue teams and Pakistan’s army personnel are fully ready to tackle any emergency situation,” Brig. Mukhtar Ahmed, NDMA spokesman said in a statement released on Tuesday.
He added that the water level in the Ganda Singh Wala village, located in the Kasur district, was around 17.80 feet, with 37,640 cusecs of water inundating the area on Tuesday.
A day earlier while talking to Arab News, Ahmed had said that the water levels in the area were continuously rising.
“We have alerted Punjab’s provincial government and relevant district administrations to deal with the situation,” he said, adding that six districts in Punjab, namely Kasur, Okara, Pakpattan, Lodhran, Vehari and Bahawalpur, “can be affected.”
On Monday, Faisal Vawda, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Water Resources expressed concern after India released the water without any warning.
“Government has deep concern on the overall attitude of India toward the implementation of the Indus Treaty…As per which, India is obliged to provide the information of extraordinary floods,” Vawda said in a statement.
According to the NDMA, the additional water is expected to enter Pakistan today and tomorrow.
Official data provided by the NDMA shows that 220 people have been killed and 163 others injured in rain-related incidents in Pakistan since July this year, even as Pakistan continues to deal with flash floods and landslides during the monsoon season which usually runs from July to September.

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

Updated 17 min 52 sec ago

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

  • We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season, says GEA CEO Amr Banaja

RIYADH: Fireworks, concerts, festivals and international performances will be among the highlights of the 89th Saudi National Day celebrations this year.

The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a season of record-breaking events for the annual celebration.

At a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday, GEA CEO Amr Banaja said that Saudi citizens and residents can enjoy a number of entertainment activities planned across 13 regions of the Kingdom as part of the National Day season being supervised by the GEA from Sept. 19 to 23.

“The GEA is proud to oversee the Saudi National Day Season activities by launching a unified identity that brings together the society under “Himma Hatta El-Qimmah,” Banaja said, inspired by the words of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: “The Saudis’ strength is like that of the Tuwaiq mountain.”

The GEA was proud to be overseeing the occasion, Banaja said. “We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season befitting this dear country,” he said.

“This year fireworks celebrations will continue for several days where more than 700,000 shots will be fired at an altitude of up to 300 meters, accompanied by music,” he said.

Celebrations will be held in all regions during the season, and visitors will be able to enjoy a range of activities that reflected the unity of the nation and the cohesion of the people and leadership.

“Distinctive international shows designed especially for the National Day will be held in Riyadh from Sept. 21-23,” he said.

Fireworks will light up Jeddah over Al-Hamra Corniche accompanied by sound and light effects and laser shows.

At the five-day Dhahran Exhibition in Dammam starting on Sept. 19, the world’s largest theatrical producer “Cirque du Soleil” will present a specially designed show for Saudi National Day.

Forty artists will present 14 shows of acrobatics, sports, music, and dance. Eight concerts will also be held in a number of regions where, besides international stars, Saudi and Gulf artists will present patriotic songs.

The concerts will begin on the first day of the season on Sept. 19 at Al-Jouf University Stadium in Sakaka with performances by Khaled Abdulrahman and Nabil Shuail.

The next day, a concert will be held at King Khalid Sport City in Tabuk staged by artists Abdullah Al-Rowaished and Aseel Abu Bakr.

On Sept. 21, Majid Al-Mohandes and Dalia Mubarak will perform at Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Stadium in Hail.

On Sept. 22, two concerts will be performed at King Abdullah Sports City in Buraidah by artists Rashid Al-Majid and Balqees Fathi; the second at Prince Sultan Cultural Center in Jazan by “The Artist of Arabs” Mohammed Abdo and Turki.

On Saudi National Day (Sept. 23), three concerts will be held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Thousands will gather at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh to listen to singers Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abadi Al-Jawhar.

In Jeddah, Rabeh Saqr and the artist Waad will perform at King Abdullah Sports City, while in Dammam, and in the Green Halls in Riyadh, Kuwaiti singer Nawal and the artist Ayed will entertain the audience.

Five forums will take place in five cities, where a number of speakers will present inspirational events.

Forums will be held in Madinah and Tabuk on Sept. 19, while in Abha and Buraidah the forum will be held on Sept. 21 and in Hail on Sept. 23.

Banaja said that the GEA had created 150 smartphone apps for the National Day celebrations with 40,000 downloaded so far.

He thanked the security authorities for their efforts to make the season a success, and all government, private and nonprofit sectors for their contribution.

The programs were mostly free, he said, though there were some concerts for which tickets could be purchased online.

There will also be a major aero show in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, and a Saudi falcon show will be organized in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.