• 10 die in Balochistan, several rendered homeless
• Five swept away in GB flash floods
• CMs order ‘all hands on deck’ for relief measures
QUETTA/GILGIT: At least 15 people, including women and children, were killed in rain-related accidents in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan as more-than-expected downpour lashed areas where difficult terrain is said to be hampering relief operations.
In Balochistan, 10 people were killed in different areas, taking the death toll to 30 in last 48 hours. Five people, including four women and a young boy, were swept away in a flash flood from nearby mountains in the Khusnob area of Qila Saifullah, according to Assistant Commissioner Liaquat Kakar.
More than 90 percent of the mud houses in the area were badly damaged, leaving dozens of families homeless.
Officials have said that Qila Saifullah has been the worst-affected areas after Quetta due to heavy rains and flash floods.
“We are shifting the affected population to safe places with the help of Frontier Corps,” he said, adding that 200 tents have been erected for the displaced people.
ISPR officials said that a rescue and relief operation has been launched and the local population was being shifted to temporary settlements.
Officials in Loralai area confirmed that five people were swept away in floods, out of whom, two were rescued, while a search operation is underway to find the remainig three.
According to Deputy Commissioner Atiq Shahwani, a portion of Sher Jan Dam in Loralai was partially damaged due to flood.
In Zhob district, at least two people were killed in flood-related accidents, while several of houses were destroyed, according to Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ramzan.
He said people are in need of immediate relief goods, including tents, food, potable water and blankets. In Noshki, two children reportedly drowned in floodwater.
Child, four women killed in GB
At least five people, including four women and a child, have been killed in Sherqila village of Ghizer district after being swept away in flash floods.
Three children have been injured while three were reported missing after being swept away in the flood triggered by glacier melting due to intense heatwave.
The dead bodies have been recovered by local volunteers and Rescue 1122 officials, while the injured have been shifted to Gilgit after first aid.
The gushing water also damaged dozens of houses, roads, communication and power infrastructure, agriculture lands and irrigation channels. Two tent villages have been established in the area, while a medical camp with relief items, food, blankets and other necessities have also been setup.
As many as 250 families, who were rendered homeless, have been moved there.
Locals and tourists have been stranded in many areas of Ghizer, Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Shigar, Skardu, Ghanche, Kharmang districts due to suspension of telephone and road connectivity.
Flash floods also swept away bridges and damaged roads, leaving a hamlet with 80 households in Tolti Yasin disconnected from rest of the world. Similarly, flash floods in eight villages in Roundu area of Skardu district damaged large tracts of agricultural land, irrigation channels and link road.
Meanwhile, floodwater from Khemat nullah in Ghizer’s Yasin Valley blocked the outflow of Mushbar nullah, turning it into a lake. Floods in Guro Juglot area of Gilgit and several areas of Ghanche also damaged houses, shops and other infrastructure.
Flood in Dassu Nullah in Shigar district has threatened many villages while rising water levels in Indus River has put many villages of Kharmang district under flood risk.
Balochistan, GB CMs order relief operations
Meanwhile, Balochistan and GB chief ministers have directed the authorities to mobilise all resources to deal with the situation that has emerged as a result of heavy down pour.
Balochistan CM Mir Abdul Qudoos Bezenjo has ordered to deploy heavy machinery and staff at all dams as a precautionary measure to prevent flash flooding.
Addressing a press conference with Balochistan Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail and PDMA DG Naseer Ahmed, Langove said 39 deaths have been reported in the province since June 13.
Separately, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid has directed the home secretary to monitor rescue and relief operations and sought a report. The Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority and all departments concerned have been directed to utilize all resources for immediate relief and rescue measures in Sherqila village.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2022