Deputy Commissioner Okara Dr Muhammad Zeeshan Hanif has said that there is a high level of flooding in river Sutlej at the moment and the water level is continuously rising. Over 2,000 people have been shifted to safe places, along with their belongings and livestock from different places, according to Rescue-1122 report. The DC told the media in Okara on Monday that flooding in Sutlej river had played havoc earlier in 1988 and 1995, and it was feared that more damages could be caused this year due to flooding. He said people were being informed by the district administration time and again to move to safer places to stay safe. He said those living in settlements adjacent to the Sutlej river might not be aware of the warnings issued by the district administration. In such a situation, their relatives should immediately contact them and ask them to move to safe places. He called upon emergency service Rescue-1122, Pakistan Army and other organisations to work diligently to evacuate people who had been left behind in the affected areas. According to Media Coordinator Rescue-1122, there is a high level of flood and rescue operations are going on at 11 locations. He said 40 boats of Rescue-1122 and more than 170 rescuers are participating in the operation. The rescue relief operation is being led by District Emergency Officer Zafar Iqbal. Also, in view of the possible flood situation, Assistant Commissioner Okara Chaudhry Ghulam Mustafa Jatt and Assistant Commissioner Renala Khurd Chaudhry Ziaullah are busy in supervising shifting of people from Sutlej river’s head Sulemanki and Attari to safe places. They are personally participating in the operation, along with Rescue 1122 and Pakistan Army teams, and have so far shifted hundreds of people, along with their property to safe places. Also, tents have been erected along with the flood relief camp for temporary accommodation of the flood victims in Okara district. Apart from this, a medical camp, livestock camp, ration for flood victims and dry fodder for animals have also been provided in the tents. Meanwhile, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik reviewed the situation of damages caused by the ongoing floods in Sutlej River, the situation of major dams, and the regulation of river flows during the ongoing monsoon spell. The NDMA chairman presided special National Emergencies Operations Centre (NEOC) session with key stakeholders on the current flood and monsoon situation, a news release said. The session was attended by representatives of Armed Forces, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Provincial, State, and Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs, SDMA, GBDMA), Flood Forecasting Division (FFD), Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Commission (SUPARCO), Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW), Rescue 1122 Punjab, Tarbela and Mangla Dam Management. The PMD briefed about the previous days’ rainfall observed in the country. They also apprised about the expected rainfall in the North Eastern parts of the country from August 23 to 25. The PDMA Punjab and Rescue 1122 Punjab briefed about the evacuation, rescue, and relief efforts conducted along the Sutlej River. The FFD reported that Sulemanki headworks would attain a very high flood level by 22 August and a peak in the flow of River Jehlum will be observed from 23 to 25 August which will affect the Mangla dam levels. The Mangla and Tarbela Dam management briefed that the water level in dams and contingency measures are in place. The PCIW briefed about the mechanism in place for information sharing between Pakistan and Indian dam management. The Chairman NDMA instructed relevant departments to carry out flood damage assessment and gather accurate data. He also instructed PDMAs, GBDMA, and SDMA to increase awareness among the masses about the remedial measures to be taken during the season and to monitor the changing situation vigilantly. He reiterated that the settlements and encroachments in river beds of all major rivers must be cleared by all concerned to minimize the damages.