QUETTA: The death toll in rain-related incidents climbed to 10 on Monday in Balochistan as two more people were swept away in flood water in Dera Bugti district.
Vehicular traffic could not be restored in different parts of the province as damaged bridges on the National Highways could not be repaired despite massive relief and rescue operations launched by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and other departments concerned.
The Balochistan government has released Rs350 million to PDMA for launching rehabilitation and relief work in flood-stricken districts of the province.
Funds were also provided to commissioners and deputy commissioners of 15 districts badly-affected by rains and floods where people were still waiting for rescue in the floodwater as more rains were reported in different areas of the province over the last 24 hours.
“We are in contact with flood-hit people and making all out efforts to reach them to rescue them through boats,” Liaquat Shahwani, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, said.
He said that helicopters could not fly due to heavy rains in affected areas.
However, he said, through boats hundreds of people had been rescued and moved to safer places.
He said that vehicular traffic could not be restored between Quetta and other parts of the country through the Quetta-Sukkur National Highway as the main bridge in
Bolan district had been washed away by the heavy floodwater in the Bolan River and the water level was also not receding due to more trains in the catchment area of the Bolan and other seasonal rivers.
“The National Highway has been damaged by floodwater at several places and Communication and Works Department and National Highway Authority staff were making all-out efforts to repair damaged highways to restore road links between Quetta and other parts of the country.
According to reports, the road link between Balochistan and Punjab was cut off at Loralai-Dera Ghazi Khan road because of landslides at Fort-Manro Pass. Heavy boulders triggered by landslides blocked the Loralai-Dera Ghazi Highway, suspending all kind of traffic between Balochistan and Punjab.
The situation in Jhal Magsi area is also worsening as water level in the Mula River was rising because of more rains in the catchment area.
The Balochistan government has requested the PDMA of Sindh to provide relief goods to flood-affected families in the area.
Mr Shahwani said that on Monday around 900 people travelled to Sibi from Quetta in the shuttle train run by the Pakistan Railways because of the heavy rains and floods. The train service will continue till restoration of road link of Quetta with other parts of the country through the National Highway.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020