Torrential rain adds to misery of flood-hit Chitral

Published July 22, 2015
CHITRAL: A view of Shogore village of the devastated Lot Koh valley.—Dawn
CHITRAL: A view of Shogore village of the devastated Lot Koh valley.—Dawn

CHITRAL: More villages were hit by flash floods on Tuesday after torrential rain continued for the seventh day and washed away a number of houses in Kasset village, on Chitral-Garam Chashma road, and Rayeen, in Torkhow valley.

But no casualties were reported because local people had migrated to safe places.

The government departments concerned are unable to give an estimate of the damage caused by the floods because the affected areas are inaccessible.

Know more: Editorial-Floods once again

Work on damaged roads, drinking water and irrigation water projects and hydro-power stations would begin in a week, officials told Dawn.

The district administration and army personnel distributed food and non-food items among affected people in Garam Chashma, Murdan, Orghoch, Kuragh, Kosht, Reshun and Bumburate.

People who had come to their villages to celebrate Eid would not be able to attend their offices on Wednesday because of closure of roads and collapse of suspension bridges.

Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Hidayatur Rehman visited Kuragh and had an aerial view of Garam Chashma and Bumburate valleys.

Two army helicopters dropped food packets in affected areas.

The Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement that the army continued rescue operations on the sixth consecutive day in the worst-hit areas of Chitral. Army and Frontier Corps, with the help of civil administration, distributed 16 tons of ration.

The troops rescued 73 stranded individuals from Garam Chashma, Kuragh and Bumburate. The Frontier Corps donated 100 tons of ration and food items and they are being dispatched from Peshawar, the statement said.

Army doctors and paramedical staff have been sent to establish medical camps in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa information minister Mushtaq Ghani told Dawn that heavy rains over the past three to four days and fast melting glaciers had caused floods.

He said the chief minister was monitoring the situation.

The minister said the district administration was engaged in relief and rehabilitation activities, while the communication and works department secretary and public health department’s director general had been directed to reach Chitral to oversee relief activities.

Shelters were being set up in government schools. But officials at the deputy commissioner’s office expressed ignorance about the decision.

Earlier, Mr Ghani told a press conference in Peshawar that flash floods had affected about 300,000 people in Chitral.

He said 26 villages had been devastated while upper Chitral was cut off from rest of the district at Kuragh where raging currents washed away Chitral-Booni Road, stranding about 200,000 people.

Kalash valley, where about 25,000 people live, and Lotkuh tehsil with a population of over 60,000, were also cut off from rest of the district.

He said the KP government had allocated Rs100 million for rehabilitation of road network, Rs30m for supply of drinking water and Rs10m for recovery of irrigation channels.

He said 20 tons of relief goods had been dispatched to the district while another 20 tons would follow. Chitral’s deputy commissioner had been authorised to use Rs20m funds available with the district relief account.

Published in Dawn, July 22th, 2015

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