18 more die as rain continues to lash parts of KP for fourth straight day

Published September 2, 2020
Rescuers at the site of a collapsed house in the Chagharzai area of Bunir. — All photos by Umar Bacha
Rescuers at the site of a collapsed house in the Chagharzai area of Bunir. — All photos by Umar Bacha
Landsliding on the  Khatak Sar road in KP.
Landsliding on the Khatak Sar road in KP.

At least 18 more people were killed and over two dozen injured in rain-related incidents, as heavy rainfall continued to batter parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, officials said on Wednesday.

Rain has continued to lash different districts of KP including Mansehra, Battagram, Bunir, Shangla, Kohistan and Swat for days causing widespread damage to roads and houses and causing landslides at some points.

In Torghar district, seven people including six women and one man were killed after being hit by a boulder, Assistant Commissioner Azhar Zahoor said. Two children were rescued alive by rescue officials.

Taj Mohammad, spokesperson for the Rescue 1122 service in Bunir, said three people — a woman and two children — were killed and three others injured at Chagharzai while another woman died in the Ryal area of Bunir after the roofs of their houses collapsed due to rain and landslides.

The injured were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Bunir, he added.

Additionally, four people, including a woman and a child, were killed when their house in Hussain Banda in Oghi tehsil, Mansehra, was hit by landsliding, according to rescue officials. Two other people were also injured.

Battagram Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed told Dawn.com that two girls aged between nine and 12 were killed when heavy boulders, displaced by the rains and flood struck their house in the district's Rashang area. Local people dug through the debris to recover the bodies, he said.

Hameed said seven houses had collapsed across the district so far and eight major and link roads were blocked due to landsliding.

He said water supply schemes in different parts of the district were also damaged.

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old man, identified as Mohammad Azeem, drowned in the Nandyar river in Battagram while trying to collect wood, the DC said.

Upper Kohistan DC Arif Yousafzai said around 10-15 houses, a mosque and a seminary was damaged in the rains while link roads of the entire Kandia tehsil were blocked due to landsliding. Water supply schemes were also damaged at various points, he added.

Flooding in Shangla.
Flooding in Shangla.

Imran Hussain Ranjha, deputy commissioner Shangla, told Dawn.com that major infrastructural damage, especially to roads was reported in the district due to flash floods. In particular, one kilometer stretch of the Karora-Ajmeer road was washed away while other major and link roads were also damaged.

A suspension bridge linking Damorai with Banda was swept away in the flash floods, Ranjha said.

Construction and works department has already begun efforts to clear the roads, he said, adding that the work was being hindered by continuous rainfall.

Flooding in the Bisham River.
Flooding in the Bisham River.

Ranjha further said that his revenue staff was collecting information about the houses that were damaged, adding that reports were being received from across the district about damage to houses, roads and water supply lines.

Bisham Assistant Commissioner Khurram Rehman said houses in the area that were situated near rivers had been evacuated as the flow of water was increasing.

A day earlier, at least two people were killed and seven others injured in various incidents in the Shangla district amid the widespread rains.

According to a statement from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Peshawar and other northern areas were seeing a heavy spell of rain while flooding was reported in storm-water drains in Swat, Chitral and Kohistan.

Last Friday, at least 20 people were killed and nine suffered injuries in flash floods caused by cloudbursts in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Landslides also hit vehicles in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, killing a truck driver and injuring several others.

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