Over 100,000 in northeast Pakistan evacuated amid raging floods
River Sutlej runs high as India is releasing more water towards Pakistan
Authorities accelerated evacuations from settlements along a river on Sunday as raging floods inundated large swaths in northeast Pakistan, with over 100,000 fleeing.
The River Sutlej, which flows through northern India and Pakistan, is running high as India is releasing more water towards downstream areas in Pakistan following the massive rains, officials said.
Two major Indian dams constructed on the river are nearing their maximum capacity again and further rains could lead to the release of water from these reservoirs, posing a threat to at least seven districts of Punjab.
Mohsin Naqvi, interim chief minister of Punjab, described the latest floods as the "worst in 35 years."
Deeba Shahnaz, a spokeswoman for the Punjab Rescue Department, told Anadolu that over 100,000 people have been evacuated from the Kasur, Pakpattan, Pakpattan, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Lodhran, Multan, and Bahawalpur districts since July 9.
Multiple clips aired on local broadcaster Geo News showed army troops and rescuers moving people and cattle from downstream areas using boats.
Residents could also be seen wading through waist-deep waters along with cattle and belongings to reach safety.
According to Shahnaz, since July 9, 17 people have been killed in flood-related accidents, while 36 suffered injuries.
Longtime rivals Pakistan and India share the water of six rivers under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), an agreement brokered by the World Bank in 1960.
Under the agreement, the waters of the eastern rivers – the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – are allocated to India, while the three western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – go to Pakistan.
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