It seems that the gigantic Manchar Lake whose embankments have so far shown resilience to the enormous flood pressure will have to sustain the water load for a few more days as over half a dozen cuts in its embankments have failed to contain the surge.
Two cuts were given to Larkana-Sehwan embankment to release the lake’s water into the Indus River in addition to the existing authorised and naturally occurring breaches in the lake’s levees.
The road along the LS embankment, which was brimmed with displaced families, was closed for traffic after the breaches. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had directed the officials to move the people away from the part of LS bund, where the cuts were to be given.
The fresh cut near the Karampur village was aimed at protecting Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad town from inundation. However, the water disconnected the people of Talti, Bamba, Karampur and Bhan Syedabad from Sehwan city. The main road, Indus Highway, was also submerged.
At least nine union councils of Sehwan taluka have been affected by the cuts and breaches in Manchar Lake. “Seven of these union councils are completely submerged,” Sikandar Ali Rahpoto, a member of the National Assembly (MNA) from the area, said.
Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Capt (retd) Fariduddin Mustafa said the opening in the LS bund will speed up the lake’s discharge into the river. However, the irrigation officials said that despite all those cuts, the lake’s level was still the same.
“Technically, it was the only way to reduce the flow of floodwater in the area as well as in the [Manchar] lake,” Mahesh Kumar, the executive engineer of the irrigation department, who was also present on the site, said.
Mass migration of flood victims started from villages around Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad, including Karampur, Bamba and Talti. Majority of those people are headed towards Sehwan and Jamshoro via private transport such as rickshaws, tractors and motorcycles.
However, because of a vast area under water, including roads, the people who want to travel to Hyderabad will have to take a longer route via the National Highway. Thousands of people also turned to the ring bund to reinforce it as pressure mounted on the dyke.
Villagers, with the help of the government, were busy strengthening dykes around their villages and towns in an effort to stop the flow of water coming from Manchar Lake. The Khairpur Nathan Shah taluka of neighbouring Dadu district remained under floodwater, while the Johi town of Dadu was still dealing with the threat of deluge.