Govt making all efforts to help rain, flood affected people: PM Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that death and destruction caused by recent rains and floods was a great loss for the country and the government would leave no stone unturned to help people in distress.

He was chairing a meeting at the PM House to review the damage caused to life and property by incessant rains resulting in floods in various parts of the country.

Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan’s armed forces and provincial authorities were doing a commendable job in relief and rescue operations. He asked the ministers and parliamentarians to visit their constituencies and make sure that relief activities are carried out smoothly.

The prime minister directed that evacuation of people and livestock should be carried out immediately while all national highways be opened for traffic by Saturday night.

The Governments of Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) in coordination with NDMA should immediately start damage assessment for speedy rehabilitation, he added.

Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Maj. General Muhammad Saeed Aleem briefed the meeting on the measures being taken at the district provincial and national levels to cope with the situation.

He informed that Lahore and Rawalpindi divisions were experiencing serious urban flooding while there was also flooding in Chenab and Jhelum. The nullahs especially in Gujranwala and Rawalpindi were also flooded. Flood levels at Marala Khanki and Qadirabad were very high. The flood level in Jhelum river and Mangla reservoir was exceptionally high while flood level at Rasul head works was at medium level. The remaining rivers were flowing at normal level.

The prime minister was informed that Palandri received 668 mm of rain, Islamabad 316 mm, Rawalpindi 440 mm, Lahore 350 mm while Sialkot 316 mm during the last 48 hours. It resulted in flashfloods in AJ&K as well as in north east Punjab.

So far rains have caused 110 deaths in Punjab AJ&K and Gilgit Baltistan at total of 148 people had been injured while 650 houses were completely destroyed.

The NDMA has mobilized and positioned its reserve relief stocks in major cities of the flood affected areas. The state of major relief stocks was satisfactory and was being provided on the request of the governments of Punjab and AJ&K.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appreciated efforts of all the concerned departments in restoring light traffic from Muzaffarabad to other parts of the country.

Minister for Information Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, secretary Cabinet and chairman WAPDA attended the meeting besides other senior officers.