PESHAWAR/ORAKZAI: At least 14 people, including eight children, were killed and 53 suffered injuries in rain-related incidents across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday.
The relevant officials and rescue workers told Dawn that at least eight people were killed and 47 were injured when the heavy rain caused a house’s veranda to collapse during a wedding ceremony in Leera area of Lower Orakzai district.
A local official said as the rain began to fall at around 2pm, the participants of the wedding ceremony took refuge under the veranda, which caved in burying over 60 people alive.
CM asks depts to remain on high alert during monsoon
The administration and Orakzai Scouts rushed to the house and pulled the bodies of at least eight children and 47 injured people from under the debris.
The administration also declared emergency in Kalaya and Mushti hospitals, where the injured were shifted. Some were referred to hospitals in Peshawar and Kohat due to critical injuries.
“The death toll may go up as people were injured in large numbers,” a local official told Dawn.
A police official said the two-storey house made of mud was in dilapidated condition, so it collapsed.
Also in the day, house collapse incidents killed four children two each in Lower Dir and Swat areas, while a man was killed in a Shangla mine accident.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority said six people were injured in rain-related incidents in four districts of the province.
It said two children, including Suman and Muskan, were taken away by rainstorm in Jam Dehrai area of Lal Qilla tehsil in Lower Dir district.
Two boys, including Hayat Ali and Munawar Umar, died in Sarsene village of Swat district, while another got injured in rain-related incidents.
Hazrat Shah and Saleem Shah suffered injuries after being hit by a boulder in Matta area of Swat.
A woman, Zeba, died in a roof collapse incident during heavy rain in Akbarpura area of Pabbi tehsil of Nowshera district, while Shahruddin of Shangla district died due to asphyxiation inside a coalmine in Darra Adamkhel area.
The PDMA said two houses were completely destroyed by rainstorm in Buner and Haripur, while 15 houses, including nine in Haripur, were partially damaged.
A school’s boundary wall collapsed due to rain in Charsadda district, while a wall collapse killed 11 cattle in Peshawar.
The PDMA said the local administration and Rescue 1122 provided relief to people in the rain- hit areas.
In Dera Ismail Khan district, rainwater entered residential areas and damaged houses in Kulachi city. The residentsshifted to safe places along with belongings fearing flash floods. No damage to public life was reported.
The residents complained that the administration began rescue operation in many areas after a delay of several hours.
The torrential rain caused heavy floods in South Waziristan, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.
The Met Office forecast thundershower and windstorm with isolated heavy rainfall in scattered areas of Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu divisions during the next 24 years.
It recorded 28mm rainfall in Balakoat, 24mm in Chirat,23mm in Dir, 22mm in Peshawar, 17mm in Kakul,10mm in Malam Jabba,5mm in Parachinar and2mm in Saidu Sharif.
A statement issued here said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had ordered the government departments concerned to remain on high alert during monsoon period and asked them to take care of the people living in remote and mountainous areas.
He also ordered the cancellation of leaves of the staff members of those departments during rains and said both health workers and Rescue 1122 personnel should be on high alert.
Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2019