DADU: The Kachho belt and its surrounding areas in the west of Dadu district appeared to be the worst-hit part of Sindh in the last two days of heavy rainfall as six people died and many others were injured in different rain-related incidents while several hundred families have been rendered homeless and without food and drinking water.
A villager, Mohammad Nawaz Rind, 25, and a 10-year-old girl, Gulshan, who was accompanying him, drowned while trying to cross Nai rainwater drain near Jhangara village, in Sehwan taluka. Three other persons were killed in accidents that occurred due to slippery roads in different areas. Hospital sources in the town said they received three bodies and 15 other people injured in such incidents. Their names could not be known as rainfall and flooding severely disrupted telecommunication networks in Dadu and Jamshoro districts as well as surrounding areas.
Their bodies were retrieved by some divers living in the nearby villages.
In Thano Bula Khan, an 11-year-old girl, Moomal Palari was swept away in floodwater.
Reports reaching here from the Kachho belt suggested that several hundred mud- and straw-made houses in around 40 villages were swept away by floodwater flowing downwards from the Khirthar mountain range amid torrential rains across the region. The villagers also lost their domestic articles, grain stocks, cattle heads and all other belongings.
They pointed out the paddy and vegetable crops over hundreds of acres had been destroyed.
The rainfall that had started on Thursday was continuing with intermittent heavy, moderate and light spells till the last reports came in on Friday evening. The Met department has already forecast more downpour across the province on Friday night and Saturday. Skies over Dadu and Jamshoro districts, like other parts of the province, remained heavily overcast.
The Nai Gaaj dam that receives rainwater from Khirthar range and the areas all along its course across Kachho belt had filled to capacity. The officials concerned said water level, that had risen to 15 feet, had already crossed the danger point warning of heavy flooding in the areas around it.
Meanwhile, several hundred families in the 40 of around 200 villages along the belt have aired a distress call saying they had run out of food and drinking water as floodwater had swept away all their stocks and belongings.
The villages included Sawro, Tando Rahim, Wahi Pandhi and Chhinni through which many feet high deluge passed during the ongoing rainfall and flooding. The affected villagers feared that the situation for them might worsen in the days to come.
Almost all roads, link roads and most farming areas in the region have been submerged under floodwater that has swept away crops and seedlings. The villages have been cut off from other parts of the province, affected villagers including Haider Ali, Soomar Khan, Rafiq and Sabir told Dawn. They said that over-topping of the banks of the Nai Gaaj dam was also posing a serious threat to the surrounding villages amid continuing rainfall.
They called for immediate relief measures as no supplies of food, drinking water and other essential commodities had arrived in their villages since the start of the rainfall as road communication stood cut off. Even the nearby sections of the highway remained submerged over the last 48 hours keeping all sorts of vehicles stuck miles away from the area, they added.
Commenting on the reports, the deputy commissioner of Dadu said it was really an alarming situation but heavy rainfall and resultant flooding in the region during monsoon was a “normal phenomenon” and considered to be a boon as the whole region would turn fertile. He said the local population was used to it and would always welcome heavy rainfall in monsoon.
No relief and rescue teams had arrived in the affected areas till late Friday evening.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020