Pre-monsoon rains have wreaked havoc in various parts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, causing floods and roofs to collapse, damaging crops and properties and leaving several people dead and injured, according to the provinces' disaster management authorities.
In the Sonari area of Balochistan's Kohlu, the road connecting the locality to Quetta had been swept away by flooding and several bridges were damaged, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said in a statement on Tuesday. Floods had also swept away electricity poles in Kohlu and the downpour in Barkhan damaged crops.
Many parts of the province continue to be lashed by rain, with reports of heavy showers in Sibi, Kohlu, Ziarat, Quetta, Chaman, Harnai, Loralai, Sherani, Musa Khel, Barkhan and Zhob, the PDMA said.
Thunderstorms and gusty winds have been reported in Sibi, Kohlu, Ziarat, Quetta, Harnai, Loralai, Sherani, Musakhel, Barkhan, Zhob, Kalat and Khuzdar, it added.
In Sibi, the PDMA said, four women and a man were killed when raging torrents had swept away a truck on Sunday.
According to Levies, the tragedy had taken place when the truck tried to cross the Beji river despite heavy floods. “The truck was carrying about 25 people and their livestock,” according to Bahadur Khan, an eyewitness who was injured in the accident.
Citing the Met Office, the PDMA statement said the current spell of pre-monsoon rains in Balochistan was expected to continue till Wednesday (tomorrow).
Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Disaster Management Authority issued a report on Monday, stating that three children were injured in rain-related incidents in the province over the past 24 hours.
According to the report, the children were injured when the roof of a house collapsed due to heavy rain in the province's Dera Ismail Khan area. Moreover, three cattle head were killed in the incident, the report said.
On Monday, the PDMA said the flow of rivers was normal in the province, however, a glacial lake outburst flooding was reported in the remote Ishperu Gol area of Terich village of Upper Chitral that damaged a 50kV micro-hydel power station in the area.
The PDMA also said that between Sunday and Monday, the Kalkot Daba Road in Upper Dir as well as the Swat-Shangal main road at Machar area of Alpuri of Shangla district had been blocked due to land-sliding but were later cleared.
NDMA warns of floods, landslides
Earlier, the National Disaster Management Authority had issued a statement warning of a new rain spell triggering landslides in vulnerable areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Galyat, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan between Monday and Wednesday under the effect of a new weather system.
A strong weather system is likely to enter upper and central parts of the country on Monday, it said, adding that it was likely to cause widespread rain, strong winds with isolated hailstorms in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Chitral, Dir, Swat, Buner, Shangla, Kohistan, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Swabi, Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, Charsadda, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Kurram, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Waziristan), Punjab (Rawalpindi, Murree, Galyat, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Bhakkar, Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan, Hafizabad, Faisalabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Okara, Kasur, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Bahawalnagar and Multan ), Kashmir (Bhimber, Kotli, Mirpur, Poonch, Bagh, Haveli, Hattian, Muzaffarabad and Neelum Valley), Gilgit-Baltistan (Astore, Ghizer, Gilgit, Diamer, Hunza and Skardu) and northeast Balochistan (Zhob, Sherani, Musa Khel, Kohlu and Barkhan).
The statement said heavy rainfall may generate flash flooding in local nullahs and rivers of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and northeast Balochistan, adding that windstorms might damage loose structures in these areas.
Winds and rain were also expected in Sukkur, Larkana, Kashmore, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Karachi, Dera Bugti, Jaffarabad, Naseerabad, Lasbela and Khuzdar from June 21 (evening/night) to June 22, the statement said.
Travellers have been advised to remain extra cautious during the forecast period and avoid unnecessary journeys, it said.
Clear risk of flooding in Karachi, other big cities
On Tuesday, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman also said large parts of the country could face floods in the aftermath of torrential rains in the coming days, adding that there was a "clear risk of flooding in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Islamabad and other big cities".
The warning from the minister came in a statement that also carried directives for relevant federal and provincial departments to take measures to deal with any potential disasters.
"Directives have been issued for mobilising resources and emergency planning on the district level to deal with [potential] floods," the statement read.
In the statement, Rehman specifically cautioned against possible "dangers" in urban areas as a result of torrential rains and said Pakistan was likely to witness rains in the current monsoon season at least till August.
"It is expected that Punjab and Sindh will receive above-average rainfall," she added.
The minister said there was also a likelihood of flooding in rivers, streams and nullahs in the country.
"Some forecasts even predict that Pakistan may have to face a flood-like situation similar to the one in 2010," she said.
According to a Dawn opinion piece, the devasting floods more than a decade ago had affected over 20 million people spread over one-fifth of the landmass of the country.
Rehman also mentioned the calamitous situation in India and Bangladesh, where heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding have led to several deaths in recent days.
"There's an emergency situation in India and Bangladesh even before the start of monsoon," she said.