August 27, 2013 ABDUL RASHEED AZAD
The on-going devastating floods have affected standing crops on 1.05 million acres of land, which as per rough official estimates has caused about Rs 200 billion losses to the agro-economy, making it almost next to impossible for the country to meet the set growth target for the current year, officials said.
According to federal as well as provincial officials dealing with the agriculture, the on-going floods so far has damaged standing crops on 1.05 million acres of land mainly in Sindh and Punjab. “In both the provinces cotton, paddy, maize and sugarcane crops have been severely affected, so as per rough estimates when we are translating these losses in monetary terms; cotton growers have suffered a loss of Rs 70 billion, paddy growers Rs 70 billion, sugarcane growers Rs 20 billion, maize growers Rs 20 billion, fodder and other crop growers have also suffered about Rs 20 billion losses due to the flood” an official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research said.
According to official figures released by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) here on Monday the flash floods so far killed 183 people, injured 879, and affected some 1.24 million people across the country, while it has damaged standing crops on 1.05 million acres of land. The floods have also completely destroyed 21,757 homes and nearly 30,841 homes partly, NDMA said. Punjab is the worst flood-hit province where standing crops on 760,353 acres including cotton, paddy, sugarcane and maize have been destroyed, standing crops on 223,000 acres in Sindh, 64,000 Balochistan and 4,279 acres in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have been destroyed.
Among 183 died persons, in Punjab a total 64 deaths have been reported of which 19 in Narowal, four in Gujranwala, eight in Sialkot, nine in Rajanpur, three in Muzaffargarh, five in Nankanasab, two in Gujrat, three in Chakwal and four in Chiniot.
In KPK 24 dead included three in Jughur, one in Bannu, one in FR Lakki, one in Village Mullazai, five in FR Tank Kirri Wam, two in Shahabkhail, one in Palosai Muqar Zai, four in Haripur, two in Karak, three in Swat, one in DI Khan. In Sindh, a total 38 people have been killed by flooding so far of which 16 in Karachi, three in Sukkur, one in Mirpurkhas, one in Umer Kot, six in Hyderabad, two in Khairpur, three in Larkana, one in Kashmore, three in Nosharow Feroze, one in Thatta and one in Ghotki. In Balochistan, 18 dead included six in Khuzdar, five in Lasbela, one in Loralai, one in Jhal Magsi and three in Turbat/Kech.
In Federally Administrative Tribal areas (FATA), 12 people have been killed due to rain-related incidents while in Azad Kashmir 25 people have lost their lives. Some 21,757 houses completely destroyed in the flooding of which 9,132 in Punjab, 9,135 in Sindh, 3,000 in Balochistan, 123 in KPK and 367 in Azad Kashmir.
Due to flooding, a total 30,841 houses are partially damaged in the country of which 12,476 in Punjab, 700 in KP, 1,500 in Balochistan, 367 in Azad Kashmir and 16,133 in Sindh. A total 4,939 villages have been affected by the floods including 1,917 in Punjab, 15 in KP, 2,678 in Sindh and 342 in Balochistan. According to the latest report of the Federal Flood Commission (FFC), River Chenab at Panjnad and River Ravi at Sidhnai Barrage are flowing in High Flood, whereas River Indus is in medium Flood at Guddu and Low Flood in “Sukkur-Kotri Reach”. River Sutlej is also flowing in low flood at Islam Headworks. Other main rivers ie Jhelum & Kabul are flowing normal. Current river flow and reservoirs elevations indicate that Tarbela Reservoir has attained its maximum conservation level of 1550.00 feet since August 20, 2013, whereas Mangla Reservoir is at an elevation of 1233.30 feet, which is 8.70 feet below its maximum conservation level of 1242.00 feet. The dam management authorities have already been advised to take utmost care and vigilance in operation and strictly follow filling criteria and safety guidelines. The today”s combined live storage position of Tarbela, Chashma & Mangla reservoirs is 13.517 MAF as compared to last year”s 8.292 MAF.
According to Flood Forecasting Division (FFD), Lahore, yesterday”s trough of westerly wave over North-eastern Afghanistan and adjoining area has moved away eastwards rapidly, whereas yesterday”s monsoon low over central Madhya Pradesh (India) has become insignificant. Weak seasonal low continues to prevail over North-western Balochistan. Weak moist current from Arabian Sea is penetrating into central parts of the country up to 3000 feet. The weather system is being closely monitored by the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
As predicted by the FFD, Lahore, mainly dry weather is expected over most parts of the country during the next 24 hours. However, scattered thundershowers may occur over Kashmir and upper catchments of rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi & Sutlej, besides, isolated thundershowers over Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala & D.G. Khan Divisions during the same period. No significant rainfall event has been reported by FFD, Lahore during the past 24 hours.