– Mass evacuations as flood threatens to destroy dam (Independent):
Rising water levels were last night threatening one of Pakistan’s largest dams, forcing the authorities to evacuate more people even as raging floods surged south into the country’s heartland, destroying communities and ruining livelihoods. Officials in the country’s north-west said unprecedented flooding had caused the water level at Warsak Dam near Peshawar to soar, already prompting the voluntary evacuation of some of the city’s residents and forcing the authorities to draw up plans to move those who sought to stay. “If needed, forced evacuation will be started,” said Adnan Khan of the Disaster Management Authority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Even while waters recede in some parts of the north-west, it is far from clear that the country’s misery is over. Aid agencies estimate more than 3.2m people have now been affected by the nation’s most severe floods in recent history and the water that has caused such chaos is now reportedly moving south, sweeping into Punjab province.
Residents evacuated from outskirts of Peshawar as aid agencies warn disease could become biggest killer in floods
Floods in Pakistan destroyed houses in a village near Charsadda. (AFP/Getty Images)
Further rainfall and rising water levels threatened Pakistan’s third-largest dam as relief officials warned that disease could become the biggest killer in the country’s most destructive floods in more than 30 years.
Officials asked residents in the northern outskirts of Peshawar, in north-west Pakistan, to leave their homes as water levels rose at the Warsak dam. “If needed, forced evacuation will be started,” said Adnan Khan, a spokesman for the disaster management authority of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.
River gorges flowing from the north-west began to flood villages in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province and home to many of its biggest farms. About 3,000 people were marooned in the Kot Addu area of southern Punjab after the water breached a flood bank, forcing the army to evacuate people using boats and helicopters.
The sudden surge surprised Fateh Mohammad and his family. “We just ran away with our children, leaving behind everything. All our possessions are drowned in the water. We have nothing,” he told Reuters.
Abdul Sami Malik, of Unicef, said: “What we have heard from Punjab is that 50,000 people have already been displaced and 200,000 people are being evacuated from Sindh.”