The fissure in the Qadira Canal deluged several villages in Rajanpur as flash floods continued to wreak havoc on Tuesday.
The city administration is making efforts to plug it. The inundated villages include Chak Shikari and Moza Giyanmil.
Influential landlords broke the embankment of the canal at gunpoint. The city administration said action will be taken against those responsible. “Machinery has been brought in. The irrigation department officials are present on ground for repair,” Deputy Commissioner Rana Afzal Nasir told SAMAA TV.
“Actually, it has space to regulate the flow of water. But we received a report that someone strong-armed the irrigation authority,” he said.
Flash floods overtook us at 3am, said one of the affectees. As we were trying to escape, floodwater entered the wheat crop field, he said. Soon, the water left the sheaves of wheat submerged, he said.
Our livestock are standing in floodwater, another flood-hit man said. “We are hungry and have nothing to feed our children,” he said.
Relief and rescue workers have arrived at the scene to evacuate people to safer places, he said.
A weather system entered Pakistan from Iran. The weather conditions turned inclement in southern Punjab from April 13 to 18. The downpours and hailstorm destroyed wheat crops across the region. Hailstorms affected crops in Khanewal, Hasilpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad and Jhang.
The heavy rains on the Mountain Sulaiman Range triggered flash floods in the hill torrents of the Mounntain Sultan valley. The 71,000-cusec flood inundated wheat crops standing on over 10,000 acres of land in Rajanpur.
Wheat is the country’s staple food grain. A common man has 60% of wheat in his daily diet.