GWADAR/QUETTA: Over 300 houses were badly damaged, rendering hundreds of people homeless, as heavy winter rains badly affected the coastal areas of Makran division on Tuesday.
A new weather system entered Balochistan on Monday night, bringing heavy rains and snowfall to many parts of the province. The heavy rains paralysed life in many areas of Makran division and blocked highways, cutting parts of the region off from each other.
The Makran Coastal Highway, which links Gwadar with Karachi, was washed away near Ormara due to heavy flood in Basol River after Gwadar received 100 millimetres of rain in about 20 hours.
The power supply to Gwadar and its adjacent areas got suspended on Tuesday morning.
Heavy losses were reported in different areas of Turbat, Gwadar, Pasni, Jiwani and other areas as a large number of mud houses were badly damaged by rainwater, Commissioner of Makran division Shabbir Mengal told Dawn over telephone from Turbat.
Hundreds of people left homeless in Makran division
He said personnel of the army, navy Frontier Corp, police and Levies Force had launched relief operations in the rain-affected areas. He said heavy rain that began on Monday night lashed the entire coast of Makran.
In Gwadar, two old settlements — Mula Band ward and Koh Bin ward — were badly affected when rainwater submerged the entire areas, forcing their residents to leave their houses and take shelter elsewhere.
Floodwater entered some other localities in the port city where the security personnel launched relief operations.
The people who were stranded in their houses due to flooding were being shifted to safe places through Pakistan Navy’s boats.
Deputy Commissioner of Gwadar Jameel Ahmed Baloch told Dawn that heavy losses were reported in different areas of Gwadar district, including Sur-Bandar Pushkin and Pasni tehsil.
He said the local administration with the help of Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, FC and police had launched rescue operations and shifted the stranded people to schools and other government buildings.
The runway of the Gwadar airport was flooded with rainwater and flash flood from nearby mountains which suspended the flight operation.
According to Chief Engineer of Public Health Engineering Shakeek Baloch, Akra Kaur, Swad and Shadi Kur dams were filled by floodwater as heavy rains were also reported in the catchment areas of these dams. However, he added, these dams still have capacity for more water. He said that the floodwater entered the pumping station, causing suspension of water supply.
The MNA from Gwadar-Lasbela, Mohammad Aslam Bhootani, and MPA Mir Hammal Kalmati have asked the local administration to take all possible steps for providing relief to the rain-affected people.
According to reports reaching from Turbat, heavy rains caused heavy losses in the city as there are heavy flood in all seasonal rivers, including Dashat, Hingol and Nullah. Turbat town, Tamp, Balngore, Mand, Askani Bazaar, Absar and many other areas were badly affected due to heavy rains.
Commissioner Mengal along with Deputy Commissioner of Turbat Hassan Jan Baloch and Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s (PDMA) Deputy Director Rehan Dashti visited affected areas in Turbat and distributed food and other relief items, including tents and blankets, among affected families.
According to a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), relief work has been started in the affected areas with the help of local people.
Army troops were assisting the civil administration in rescue and relief operations.
Personnel of the Pakistan Coast Guard were assisting the local people in clearing rainwater from roads and houses in Jiwani, Pashukan and Gwadar.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2022