A man wades through flood water following heavy rains in Sanghar District, Sindh Province, Pakistan, 26 August 2022. EFE/EPA/FILE/REHAN KHAN

76,000 people evacuated due to floods in Pakistan

Islamabad, Aug 21 (EFE).- Some 76,000 people were evacuated in Punjab province in eastern Pakistan as it faces the largest flood in 35 years along the Sutlej River, caused by water discharge upstream from neighboring India, officials said Monday.

“After 35 years such a big water flow has entered Sutlej River and more than 76,000 people who could be at risk have been evacuated from the vicinity of the river,” provincial Relief Commissioner Nabeel Javed told EFE.

Several low-lying areas such as Okara and Pakpattan have been inundated while other downstream districts are at “very high risk” of flooding starting Tuesday, the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said in a statement.

Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi said that the government was closely monitoring the situation over the influx of approximately “278,000 cusecs of water” from upstream in India, where dams have reached maximum capacity.

Due to the flooding, several villages have been cut off from the rest of the country, and hundreds of acres of farmland have been submerged, according to the authorities.

Rains and floods leave significant human and material losses in South Asian countries every year, especially during the monsoon period between June and September.

Last year between June and October, Pakistan – one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change worldwide- witnessed its worst floods since 2010, resulting in the death of over 1,700 people and more than a million heads of livestock.

As many as eight million people were displaced and the total number of affected population stood at 33 million, or one-seventh of the population. EFE