SUKKUR\\DADU The towns of Garhi Kheru and Sajawal along with a number of villages on Thursday became the latest victims of devastation, as flood torrent was now moving towards the settled areas of Qubo Saeed Khan and Shahdadkot. A breach also developed in River Indus at Ghulab Shah Chowki, which threatened Lakhi Ghulam Shah and the road connecting Shikarpur and Jacobabad. After submerging hundreds of villages and entering the historical city of Jacobabad, the floodwater from Begari Canal devastated Garhi Kheru and the surrounding villages, displacing thousands of people. However, many people were still stranded, sitting on the rooftops of their homes as four to five feet high water had accumulated in the streets and the buildings. According to Ghulam Muhammad Shahliani, a PPP MPA, who was also stuck in the city, the lives of at least 400 to 500 stranded people are at the risk. He said the provincial government was in contact with the Army and the Air force to initiate rescue operation through helicopters and boats, adding that the area had never witnessed such devastation. Meanwhile, about two dozens people were evacuated from Garhi Kheru by helicopters, beside many people were moved towards safer places through boats. Holding Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, his Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo and Federal Minister for Sports Mir Aijaz Jakhrani responsible for inundation of Garhi Kheru, the PPP MPA alleged that breaches had been deliberately developed in Begari Canal to save Jacobabad while the overflowing water was diverted towards the unfortunate town. He also confirmed the death of at least six people. Most of the locals who left the city two days ago moved to the mountains near Sindh-Balochistan border, while others reached Shahdadkot and other cities, which itself are under flood threat. Another town of Lakhi Ghulam Shah, the hometown of former federal Minister and PML-Q MNA Ghaus Bux Mahar, was facing the flooding threat after a breach in River Indus at Ghulab Shah Chowki. According to the locals, the floodwater may disconnect the land link between Sukkur and Shikarpur, as they joined the residents of surrounding villages in evacuating the area. In this regard, PML-Q MPA Shahryar Mahar said he and his tribesmen were busy in fortifying the embankment without the government support. He accused the government of not invite them to the meetings to devise strategy to cope flood threats, which shows that the government deliberately wanted to inundate the Lakhi Ghulam Shah. Meanwhile, the floodwater of Saifullah Magsi Canal was approaching Qubo Saeed Khan, while 80 per cent people of the area had already left their homes for safety. On the other hand, the situation of flood affectees in relief camps is worsening, as majority of them have no access to drinking water, food and sanitation. The ratio of deaths among the children increased at these camps in the province, as at least 21 kids have so far been expired due to gastro and diarrhoea. A minor girl, two-year-old Benazir Chachar died at the relief camp of Islamia College Sukkur due to gastro. Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Food Mir Nadir Magsi warned that the overflowing Khirthar Canal posed a threat to Shahdadkot city having a population of over 0.3 million. In an attempt to save the city, the Irrigation Department in consultation with Nadir Magsi opened the gates of Hammal Lake to release floodwater into Manchar Lake through Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD). But the people living along the Manchar Lake fear that the move will increase water level in the lake. The DCO Qambar-Shahdadkot said residents of all the villages located in the katcha areas of Shahdadkot, Qamber and Qubo Saeed tehsils had been warned to leave their homes for safer places while the district government had also started evacuating the probable affectees, as the canal water was steadily flooding katcha areas of the district. The flood torrent, having ravaged Garhi Kheru, also entered Sajawal Junejo and is heading towards Mero Khan, as the district administration directed over the residents of hundred of villages to evacuate. The situation worsened as the water level in River Indus surged around the embankments at Mud Mangli, Mekarodhoro, Bachalpur, Daulatpur and Lakhat in Nawabshah with floodwaters just a foot below the maximum height. Water pressure is also constantly increasing on protective embankments near the hometown of late nationalist leader GM Syed. Kotri Barrage is witnessing high flood with ten protective embankments in Jamshoro and Latifabad declared as highly sensitive. Army personnel have been deployed along the river route at Qasimabad and Latifabad No-4 in view of imminent flooding. Raging water at Kotri Barrage threatens the villages of Sajan Detho, Sehrish Nagar, Gul Baig Chandio, Latifabad No-4, Panhor and other adjacent areas. Our Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Next seven days are critical for Sindh, as high flooding is likely in River Indus during next 12-24 hours, which may further rise the level of water to 500,000-600,000 cusecs during the next two-three days. The high tides are expected in the Arabian Sea during the next week and that can further aggravate flood situation at the Kotri Barrage, especially in southern Sindh. River Chenab is also experiencing a low flood with falling trend in the Trimmu-Panjnad reach. The water levels at Tarbela and Mangla Dams are 1546.22 feet and 1206 feet respectively, which are 3.78 feet and 4.00 feet below from the maximum conservation levels of 1550 feet and 1210 feet respectively. According to Flood Forecasting Division (FFD), Lahore, the seasonal low continues to prevail over northern Balochistan and adjoining areas. Weak south-western monsoon wave emanating from Arabian Sea is penetrating into sub-mountainous areas of Punjab and Kashmir. Shallow trough of westerly wave is moving across north-eastern Afghanistan and adjoining areas. The weather system is being closely monitored by the Pakistan Meteorological Department. According to FFD, scattered thunderstorm and rain is expected over northern Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir, including upper catchments of Rivers Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala and Lahore Divisions during the next 24 hours. Isolated thunderstorm/rain may also occur over southern Punjab, north-eastern Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan including DG Khan and Bahawalpur Divisions during the same period. River Indus is likely to sustain exceptionally high flood level in 'Guddu-Sukkur reach during the next 24-48 hours. Under this scenario, inundation and riverine flooding in low-lying areas of Districts Khairpur, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Sukkur, Larkana, Dadu, Nawabshah, Hyderabad and Nausheroferoze could occur. All concerned agencies have already been informed by the Pakistan Meteorological Department to take precautionary measures in order to avoid loss of human lives and damages to private and public infrastructure. APP adds: The engineers and flood-fighting agencies though took a sigh of relief after decreased water level at Guddu and Sukkur Barrages but the rapid increase of water at Kotri Barrage has put these officials on high alert. The water level at Guddu Barrage was recorded at 4 pm Thursday was 965,028 cusecs at upstream and 963,488 cusecs at downstream as compared to 10,189,70 cusecs at upstream and 10,184,32 cusecs at downstream on Wednesday on same time. Similarly, water level at Sukkur Barrage was recorded at 4 pm Thursday as 1001400 cusec at upstream and 965100 cusec at downstream as compared to 1019660 cusec at upstream and 987265 cusec at downstream at same time on Wednesday. The fact revealed that 53942 cusec at upstream and 54944 cusec at downstream has been reduced at Guddu Barrage, while 18260 cusec at upstream and 22165 cusec at downstream reduced at Sukkur Barrage in 24 hours. Whereas, the water level at Kotri Barrage recorded at 4 pm on Wednesday as 384037 cusec at upstream and 356332 cusec at downstream as compared to 495930 cusec at upstream and 467425 cusec at downstream on same time on Thursday, thus resulted in increase of 111893 cusec at upstream and 111093 cusec increased at downstream Kotri Barrage during last 24 hours from 4 pm on Wednesday to 4 pm Thursday. This rapid increase is first time witnessed since the flood flow has started approaching to Kotri Barrage. The engineers and water experts were of the view that Kotri Barrage may not receive super flood but would receive flow in between high and very high flood range which can easily pass through it However, every individual is anxious about the strengthening of river embankments. The peak flow of flood is passing from Mud Mangli, Taluka Sakrand and it will take another two days to reach at Kotri Barrage.