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.


75 stranded Pakistanis return from India through Wagah border

Updated 24 sec ago

75 stranded Pakistanis return from India through Wagah border

  • The Pakistanis were stuck in the neighboring country because of travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • About 500 Pakistanis stranded in India have returned home through the Attari-Wagah crossing since March 20

ISLAMABAD: A group of 75 Pakistanis, who found themselves stranded in India due to the coronavirus lockdown, returned to their home country on Thursday, announced an official handout circulated by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
These people were stuck in different Indian cities, including Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Lucknow and Mumbai, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, they were brought back to their country after Pakistani authorities coordinated with their Indian counterparts, making it possible for these people to cross the Attari-Wagah border on Thursday.
According to official statistics, about 500 Pakistanis stranded in India have returned to their country since March 20.
Archrivals for decades, relations between India and Pakistan have been particularly strained since August 2019, when Pakistan suspended almost all trade and transport ties with its neighbor following India’s decision to revoke autonomy and statehood for Kashmir, a territory also claimed by Pakistan.