PESHAWAR/CHITRAL: Fifteen people were killed, hundreds of houses inundated or washed away and standing crops in large areas were destroyed on Sunday as flash floods caused by widespread monsoon rain wreaked havoc across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The flash floods which started two days before Eidul Fitr devastated another four villages in upper Chitral, leaving four people dead and inundating more than 300 homes and washing away vast tracts of agricultural land.
Eleven people were killed when nullahs were flooded and houses collapsed in Peshawar and other districts of the province.
The torrential rain in Peshawar caused high flood in Budhni Nullah which inundated several residential colonies along its banks. A girl lost her life when she slipped into the nullah while playing along its bank. One Dilawar Khan was killed when his house collapsed while Irfan drowned in a flooded area in Peshawar.
Personnel of Rescue 1122 and relief organisations evacuated about 300 people after the high flood in the nullah that passes through thickly populated localities of the provincial capital.
Four tourists, a woman among them, were killed when their car plunged into the 100-foot deep Khan Khwar river in Shangla district. They were going to Bisham from Swat. As they reached near Khan Khwar Dam a sudden surge in a nullah swept away their car and it plunged into the river.
A youth drowned in the River Indus near Bisham. A woman was swept away by floodwater in Ichrian locality of Mansehra and the search for her body is under way.
Hundreds of houses washed away, crops destroyed
In Oghi, the entire bazaar was inundated by a surge in Nullah Saror, inflicting huge losses on traders. Six houses were also damaged.
Torrential rain destroyed dozens of houses in Kohistan district. The villages of Suo, Dirgutto and Chardong were severely affected.
Floodwater swept away a child in Dag Ismailkhel area of Pabbi tehsil after heavy rainfall hit Nowshera district.
A girl was killed and three children were injured when the roof of their house collapsed in an area in Kohat district.
Flash floods devastated another four villages in upper Chitral.
Reshun was the worst-hit village on Chitral-Booni road where two persons, identified as Badan Khan and Mehak, died when their houses collapsed.
The flood has destroyed the 4.2MW Reshun hydropower station supplying electricity to Mastuj tehsil.
Former union nazim Amirullah Khan told Dawn on phone that people were not aware of the flood because the sky was clear at about the midnight. Some people raised alarm, frantically asking the residents to evacuate the village.
People fled to nearby hills and plateau before the flood waves hit the power station at the entrance of the village and later devastated everything that was on their way.
Hundreds of people spent their night on elevated grounds after the village was inundated. They came down only after the sunrise. Mr Amirullah said he had heard the cries and calls for help by women and children throughout the night.
The flood washed away a government girls’ school, a petrol pump and 22 shops and partially damaged a high school.
The floods swept away at least 30 homes in Rech Torkhow village on Sunday afternoon. Two persons, identified as Daulat Turab and Dinar Muazzam Shah, died.
The floods also washed away two pedestrian bridges, a community-run hydropower house and livestock in the village.
A bridge, a link road and 11 homes were washed away in Balim village of Laspur Valley. The village was cut off from the rest of the district after the collapse of the bridge.
Agricultural fields in Torkhow’s Raeen village were inundated.
Commandant of Chitral Scouts Col Naeem Iqbal told Dawn that an army helicopter had rescued 40 people stranded in flood-hit Mulkhow area which has been cut off from the rest of the district.
Sohail Kakakhel from Nowshera, Sami Paracha from Kohat and Khalid Khan from Shangla also contributed to the report.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2015