GILGIT/MANSEHRA: Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains swept through an entire village in the Kandia valley of the Kohistan district on Thursday morning.
According to local police officials and villagers, at least 63 people, 28 children, 17 women and 18 men, were killed. Some TV channel reported up to 80 fatalities.
But District Coordination Officer Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah confirmed only 33 deaths, and said relief and rescue efforts were under way in the affected area.
He said the village of Richow was located at high altitude. Bodies of 33 people were found by people living in lower areas and a number of villagers were missing. Hundreds of cattle head were also swept away, Mr Shah said.
The hill torrents washed away the main road linking the valley with the district headquarters of Dasu which has hindered rescue and relief work. Mr Shah said that two helicopters were being sent with 300 food packets, tents, quilts and blankets to the affected village.
Health and rescue teams have already been dispatched to the area.
Provincial Disaster Management Authority spokesman Adnan Khan told Dawn in Peshawar that an emergency meeting of all line departments would be held on Friday to cope with the aftermath of rains in the province.
The valley of Kandia, situated between high mountains and Kandia River, is vulnerable to natural calamities and a large number of families left the area after last year’s floods. In 2009, over 52 people were killed when avalanches hit a village.
Meanwhile, several parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas received widespread rains on Thursday morning and Met office has forecast more rains across the province.
Kohat received 240mm of rain on Thursday, the heaviest single-day rainfall in any city in the country during the current monsoon season.