MULTAN: As Multanites await a flood wave expected sometime Wednesday with arrangements ready to cope with the troubled situation, it would be appropriate to peep into history of floods in Pakistan and how it devastated Southern Punjab rural landscape and urban settlements.
The on-going flood 2014 is the fifth in series of floods after floods in 1973, 1988, 1992 and 2010.
July 28-29 torrential rains in 2010 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,had enraged rivers and flood warning was issued for the people of South Punjab on August 1 after it left trail of destruction behind.
On August 4, 2010 flood waters hit Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh districts and entered Sindh province on August 5.
Flood waters hit Khairpur on Aug 8 and Jacobabad on Aug 13.
Independence Day celebrations were cancelled and the President and Prime Minister spent the day with flood affected people in 2010.
Vast areas of Hyderabad, Thatha, Sajawal and Shahdad Kot came under water on Aug 20, however, the intensity of floods started reducing in early September after causing many deaths of the people, cattle heads and destroying thousands of acre crop area, according to a book ‘Pakistan: 57 years’, a description of important events in Pakistan in chronological order, authored by Razi Ud Din Razi and Shakir Hussain Shakir.
The 1992 floods came in September due to torrential rains.
Flood warning was issued to people of Multan, Shujabad,Muzaffargarh, Khangarh and Sheher Sultan on Sep 12. River Jhelum witnessed flood peak on Sep 14 and inundated many villages. High flood situation was witnessed in rivers and water flow had to be diverted by way of breach in an embankment to save Multan city on September 15. Breaches were also made on Sep 18 to save Punjad headworks.
The 1973 floods began on August 8 and deaths of people were reported from Sialkot and Gujranwala and Army was called for rescue and relief operations.
Many villages of Lahore and Wazirabad came under water on August 11 while train service between Lyalpur and Lahore was suspended.
New constitution of 1973 was enforced on August 14, however,celebrations were postponed due to floods. Indus flood waters had entered Larkana on August 21, Dadu on August 22, Khanpur on August 23, Ahmedpur East on August 25, Bhalwal on August 29 and suburban areas of Sadiqabad came under water on September 2. The country had also witnessed floods in 1988.
It were the floods in 1976 following which the government had set up a Federal Flood Commission with the responsibility of preparing national flood protection plans, flood forecasting and research to harness flood water.
Meanwhile, five units of Multan Corps of Pakistan Army,district administrations of Multan, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan, Rescue 1122 and officials from all the departments were engaged in evacuation of people from riverine belt to safer places ahead of a flood wave 2014 expected to reach Multan sometime Wednesday.