More rainfall brings further destruction for already ravaged Balochistan

Published July 16, 2022
SEVERAL trucks and other vehicles are stuck on both sides of a damaged bridge at Quetta-Karachi Highway in Bela area on Friday, holding up traffic between the two cities.—Dawn
SEVERAL trucks and other vehicles are stuck on both sides of a damaged bridge at Quetta-Karachi Highway in Bela area on Friday, holding up traffic between the two cities.—Dawn

QUETTA: Already reeling from the destruction caused during the first spell of monsoon rains earlier this month, the second bout of torrential rains brought further misery for the people of Balochistan, flooding their homes and washing away bridges, roads and other infrastructure.

So far, six people have been injured in rain-related accidents, while major bridges have been washed away, leaving many areas disconnected from other parts of the country.

Several rivers have flooded in Sibi and Lasbela districts since the start of second monsoon spell on July 14. At least 10 villages were submerged in Bela Town area of Lasbela, forcing the people to leave their homes.

In Leyri area, six people including women and children got injured when roof of a mud house collapsed, while a dozen of houses have been badly damaged, according to local administration.

A major portion of a bridge in Bela Town was washed away due to floods leaving the traffic between Quetta and Karachi suspended for more than 24 hours.

In Harnai, Ziarat, Loralai, Zhob, Sherani, Qila Abdullah and Qila Saifullah districts, persistent rainfall has increased the threat of flash-floods as various dams and reservoirs have been filled to maximum capacity.

According to the local administration, Winder River was receiving heavy inflow of water from catchment areas that have been receiving continuous rainfall since last night.

The situation in Sibi and Bolan districts was also worsening as heavy rain continued for the last 48 hours, which resulted in flooding in Bolan and Nari rivers.

The Nari River, which is the second largest river of Balochistan, is currently carrying around 90,000 to 100,000 cusecs of water at many points.

Sibi Assistant Commissioner Sana Mahjabeen Umrani said that several villages in Gharibabd and Allahabad areas were badly affected and the local administration is making efforts to rescue people to safe places

A big portion of a bridge connecting Mach with the Quetta-Sukkur Highway once again collapsed due to heavy flooding in Bolan River.

“Bolan River is carrying around 40,000 cusecs of water, which is expected to increase as downpour continues in the area,” a senior irrigation engineer told Dawn.

He added that six barrages have been constructed at Bolan River to protect the area from major damage in case of floods. He said that these barrages will provide irrigation water for over 200,000 acres of land in Kachhi district.

However, the rainfall has also spelled a positive omen for Karachi residents as a major source of water supply to the city, the Hub Dam, was almost filled to its maximum capacity.

Officials have said that the spillways will be opened once the dam is filled completely, adding that with its current storage, the dam can supply water to Karachi for three years.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2022

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