MULTAN Despite devastating a number of towns across the country, the Nature does not show any sign of mercy as yet. This time the countdown has begun for Multan as a massive flood is heading towards the hometown of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi from Head Trimmu in River Chenab. Irrigation department said the current water discharge from Head Trimmu is about 320,000 cusecs that is expected to surpass the mark of 400,000 cusecs very soon. This flood is likely to pass through Multan on Thursday (today), Iftikhar Ahmad Dogar, chief engineer irrigation, told the media men. He said all the protective dykes on Chenab River were intact and in good position. The irrigation officials, however, fear that the link road leading to Head Muhammadwala from Multan may pose threat to the city as the road was constructed on a six-km long dyke that has reduced the width of riverbed considerably. The water level on the right side of the Muhammadwala bridge has reached the height it gained in 1992 when 700,000 cusecs water passed through this spot while the current discharge is below 300,000 cusecs, disclosed an irrigation official on condition of anonymity. He said the first defence dyke, Akbar Flood Bank, was in serious danger due to rising pressure of water and the only way to protect Multan was to breach the link road dyke. But the National Highway Authority (NHA) officials are strongly opposed to this suggestion. Recently, the chief engineer irrigation held a meeting with the NHA authorities on this issue but they refused to break the dyke, he added. He said the NHA officials were of the view that they would consider breaking this dyke when the water level would further rise by at least one more foot. Meanwhile, the irrigation officials and Army jawans have been deployed at the flood banks of Chenab River and work is underway to strengthen the dykes. The evacuation has started from the adjoining areas at flood banks like Aroka, Missi Pipli, Langar Sarai, Kotla Sadat, Faridabad, Kunnar Sharif, Mauza Ponta, Tahirpur, Fateh Bela, Sherpur, Sosan, Khairpur, Mahra, Dhondo, Gardezpur, Jalalpur Khakhi, Jhangi Bhana, Aman Ullahpur, Ghauspur, Sheikhpur Darugh, Panjani Khaas, Panjani Khakhi and Thatha Makhdoompur have come under floodwater in Multan district. AFP adds: Authorities issued fresh flood warnings on Wednesday, putting parts of Punjab and Sindh on alert and calling on foreign donors to step up efforts to contain the countrys worst humanitarian disaster. Government has admitted being unable to cope with the scale of the crisis and an outpouring of rage from survivors and the political opposition is compounding pressure on President Asif Ali Zardari. The meteorological service warned of floods in Hyderabad district, which could spread devastation further south in Sindh province, and issued a significant flood forecast for Kalabagh and Chashma in Punjab. Local governments in both provinces, considered the breadbasket of Pakistan, also issued warnings about more flooding in the days ahead, although the chief minister in Sindh acknowledged that the immediate danger had passed. Punjab officials said more than 90 percent of the town of Kot Addu had emptied and that flooding had cut electricity and gas production, shutting down thousands of factories. The chief minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, told a small group of reporters that up to 3.5 million people could be affected in the province, although loss of life had been negligible. Up to 40 kilometres of Indus Highway is inundated and has been closed. The initial rough estimates show that losses of Rs35 billion, excluding crops, have been suffered by Sindh, he said. I think the actual losses will be much higher. We feel that without substantial foreign assistance it will be difficult for Sindh and rest of the country to redevelop and rehabilitate its people. What we need is substantial foreign aid and not peanuts. The aid being pledged so far is peanuts and not enough to meet the enormous challenge ahead. The immediate danger is almost over, but we are concerned about the next possible big wave of flooding, as predicted by the Met department. If it is progressive flow it should be fine, but if it comes at once then it will be a trouble. Government says 14 million people are facing direct or indirect harm, while the United Nations has warned that children are among the most vulnerable victims, with diarrhoea the biggest health threat and measles a concern.