Swollen to an area of hundreds of square kilometers by the combined effects of intense monsoons and melting glaciers, Munchar Lake breached its levee for at least the third time on Tuesday, leaving nearby villages feet below. water.
To avoid that scenario, they overflowed the lake twice on Sunday in an attempt to divert some of the lake’s water to less densely populated areas. About 135,000 people have been affected, Sindh irrigation minister Jam Khan Shoro told CNN on Wednesday. Shoro said the move was necessary to avoid widespread flooding in the metropolitan area, home to about 1.55 million people.
The lake also flooded on Tuesday, but officials said this was a natural phenomenon and not part of efforts to divert the water.
Shoro Officials on Sunday warned people in towns near the lake that the lake would flood and urged people to leave the area.
“We are doing our best to provide relief to people, but the scale of the disaster is very large and the number of people affected is also very large. Providing shelter, food and medicine is nearly impossible.It is difficult.”
Shoro added that the army and navy have been recruited to help with the relief effort, and that authorities are in contact with elected officials in the village.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Wednesday that he did not want the lake to overflow, but if authorities did not divert the water, Sewang, Dadu and Mehar could be up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) away from the lake. Said it was a city. ――It was dangerous.
Those areas are spared, but nearby villages are bearing the brunt, at least for now.
“(Our) village is submerged. There is no way to go (there),” Noor Mohammad Thebo told CNN from the roadside as fast-flowing water billowed around his ankles.
Thebo said 10 to 15 families in his village near the lake have been separated by rising water levels, with water up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep now covering the main access road. , making rescue operations a dangerous event.
“There is no rescue team that can help[the trapped family]and there is no way[the family]can come out,” Tebo said.
In another nearby village, Bachal Chana, resident Yar Mohammad said people were caught completely off-guard when the overflowing waters of Lake Manchar came rushing in.
“It destroyed our crops and our homes. Mohammad stood up to his knees in the murky water and said,
Around him, cows were almost completely submerged, with only their heads sticking out and panting.
Many villagers are now faced with the choice of staying flooded or leaving their homes to seek shelter and assistance elsewhere.
New satellite imagery from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel Labs shows how the lake has expanded over the past two months into an area covering hundreds of square kilometers after record levels of rainfall. is shown. The islands and peninsulas that were once in the lake have disappeared, and the land around them has been swallowed up.
Ghulam Murtaza, 35, of Sehta Sehanj, said the government had warned her village was still at risk because it was naturally located downstream of the lake.
“They say there is no other way, but it flooded our area,” Murtaza said.
CNN’s Azaz Syed, Claudia Dominguez, and Alex Stambaugh contributed to the report.