Efforts on to rescue people from Balochistan’s flood-hit areas

Updated February 24, 2019

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Pakistani soldiers load food bags for earthquake survivors into an army helicopter.—AFP/File
Pakistani soldiers load food bags for earthquake survivors into an army helicopter.—AFP/File

QUETTA / KHUZDAR: Personnel of the army and the local administration are making hectic efforts to rescue people who are stranded due to floodwaters in over two dozen villages in Lak­hra area of Balochistan’s Lasbela district.

Heavy rains lashed Lasbela district a few days ago, causing flash floods in several areas of the district.

Lasbela Deputy Commis­sioner Shabbir Mengal told Dawn on Saturday that thousands of people, including women and children, were stranded as five- to six-foot-high floodwaters were standing in these areas for three days.

He said food and other relief goods were being dropped in these areas through helicopters.

He said around 40,000 people were badly affected by the flood in these areas of the district. He said the local government with the help of the army and other forces was making all-out efforts to provide relief goods, including food items, drinking water and tents, to the affected people.

Mr Mengal said a rescue operation continued in the affected areas and it would take two more days to shift these people to safe places.

In Uthal and Bela areas of the district, army helicopters continued rescue operations and shifted affected people to safe places.

Official sources said that over 300 people had been evacuated from flood-hit areas of Uthal and Bela.

Officials of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said that an initial survey had suggested that over 600 families were affected by the recent flash flood in these areas. According to the survey, hundreds of mud houses were damaged and hundreds of heads of cattle drowned and were washed away in the flood.

They said six people were reportedly killed in Lasbela district. They were washed away in the flash flood in different areas of Bela and Uthal. Five people who were stranded in their flood-hit areas had been rescued by personnel of the local administration and the army.

The heavy rains and flash flood destroyed standing crops of wheat and tomato and fruit orchards in Lasbela district. “Standing crops on thousands of acres were completely destroyed causing a loss of millions of rupees to local growers,” the deputy commissioner told Dawn.

Agriculture, road infrastructure, communication system and other facilities were also badly affected by flash floods in Lasbela district. “We are giving priority to save the life of people stranded in flood-hit areas,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2019