India: Due to the recent heavy rains and floods that have devastated Pakistan, the course of the river Indus has started changing once again and it is now inching towards Kutch. According to NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellite images, a new course has developed towards the south of Kalri lake in Thatta district of Pakistan.
History says that the course of the river had earlier changed due to a major earthquake that took place on June 16, 1819. The Indus, which used to flow by Kutch’s Lakhpat port, changed its course due to the tectonic movements and inched closer to Pakistan, around 125 km southeast of Karachi, flowing downwards to meet the Arabian Sea while it moved 150km northwest from the Lakhpat port.
Interpreting the satellite images, remote sensing expert Dr PS Thakker said, “New courses have developed to the south of Kalri lake, one of which has reached 60 km northwest of Lakhpat to the Sir Creek, while the second is 56 km north of Lakhpat, near Jati in Pakistan. Kalri or Keenjhar lake is a fresh water lake in Pakistan, which plays a substantial ecological role in the functioning of the Indus river basin.”
“These satellite images taken on August 27 show the original course of river Indus, meeting at 23º 59′ 31″ N and 67º 24′ 38″ E. After that, due to the recent floods in Pakistan, the area remained covered by clouds. The first cloud-free image was available on September 7, 2010, which shows that two new courses of river Indus have been developed to the east of the present-day course. These two courses meet the Sir Creek at 24º 21′ 30″ N and 68º 15′ 21″ E and the other course can be seen at 24º 14′ 16″ N and 68º 26′ 54″ E,” informed Dr Thakker.
He added that the water of the Indus river might reach the east of Lakhpat in the Great Rann of Kutch, near Zara at 24º 14′ 09″ N and 69º 12′ 07″ E. Possibilities cannot be denied that the water may reach further east.