PESHAWAR: A new spate of flash floods caused by torrential rains on Saturday wreaked havoc in most parts of the already damaged district of Chitral, including Kalash valley, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, sweeping away dozens of homes, and destroying roads and crops.
Floods also washed away a Kalash tribe traditional maternity home, known as Bashalani, where several women and infants were present, in Bumburate area of the valley.
Local people shifted the newborns and women to safety; no causality was reported.
A Bashalini is a segregated space for women to live in when they are menstruating or after giving birth. In Kalash culture, menstruating women are said to be “impure” and therefore have to spend their days away from the family in a Bashalini. In case of childbirth, women spend up to 21 days at maternity homes or a Bashalanis, which are built at some distance outside houses and villages. Men cannot enter these enclosures and women cannot leave them without attaining “purity” and washing themselves.
The flooding also swept away five hotels including one managed by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, seven shops and standing crops in Bumburate and other areas of the valley.
The affected areas in Chitral include Baranis, Mroy, Gahirat, Zaini, Singor, and Mozhgol, where initials reports suggest flash floods destroyed dozens of houses, shops and standing crops. However, no causality was reported.
Heavy rains began late last night, triggering flash floods that damaged 15 houses, link roads and bridges in Khot area of sub-division Mustuj, and compelled local residents to leave their homes for safety.
Residents also complained of shortage of food, medicines and other basic items due to blockage of roads leading to the area at Kurah.
Life in sub-division Mustuj, Lot Koh and Kalash valley has been completely paralysed, as major roads leading to the areas have remained inaccessible owing to flooding since two weeks now.
Flooding in Drosh completely inundated the main road linking the area to other parts of the country.
At least 32 people, including women and children, have died since torrential rains began in Chitral almost two weeks ago.
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, the most affected areas in Chitral is union council Mulkhow and sub-division Mustuj, where 23 people have been killed.
At least 10 people have died in Saht, eight in Uthol, two people each in Broze, Gohkir, and Lone, and one person each in Reshun, Ayun, Hingel, Green Lasht, and Warinj.
Floods have also killed more than 3,600 cattle in the affected district till now.