KARACHI / QUETTA: Heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in several areas of Sindh and Balochistan on Tuesday where at least eight more people lost their lives in rain-related accidents while several people stranded due to washing away of bridges and roads awaited rescue.
A tragedy befell on a family in Sindh’s Khairpur district where a man died, along with his two minor sons, while his wife and two daughters suffered critical injuries when the roof of their house collapsed during heavy rain in Gambat area near Ranipur late Monday night.
In Karachi, five people lost their lives as several areas of the city remained inundated in sewage-laced rain water for a third-consecutive day.
Moreover, heavy rains caused flooding in Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Dadu, Qambar-Shahdadkot and other adjoining towns.
However, citizens looking for a respite from torrential rain to return to their normal lives will have to wait for one more day as the Met office has said that the fresh spell of rain could stay till Wednesday (today) and would begin to weaken from Thursday.
A brief statement by the Met office said that Karachi and other parts of Sindh, including Tharparkar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal, Tando Mohammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, Matiari, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Dadu, Jamshoro, Shikarpur, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Ghotki and Kandhkot-Kashmore were likely to receive widespread rain, windstorm or thunderstorm with scattered heavy or very heavy rainfall till July 27.
Families in Lasbela await rescue
At least 300 people, including women and children, on Tuesday awaited rescue in the Oraki region of Lasbela district after floods inundated the villages in the area and washed away mud houses, forcing people to live under the open sky.
Despite a passage of 24 hours, the local administration was not able to rescue the stranded people who were said to be running out of food and fresh water when this report was filed. The issue was brought to the notice of Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo who ordered the authorities concerned to rescue the stranded families.
In a statement, the National Disaster Management Authority said that two helicopters will reach Lasbela to rescue the people from the Oraki area.
Separately, the security forces saved at least 100 people in Danda and Soukhan areas of Bela and Uthal. “The affected families were shifted to the government buildings and provided with relief goods and food,” officials said.
Quetta-Karachi traffic remains suspended
The traffic between Quetta and Karachi which was suspended after heavy rains washed away parts of the highway, including three bridges, could not be restored despite a passage of 48 hours.
A large portion of the main bridge on the Hub River collapsed last night due to flash floods. “The Quetta-Karachi highway was washed away at least five places,” a senior official of the Lasbela administration told Dawn.
The traffic also remained suspended between Lasbela and Gwadar as a flood was passing through the coastal highway in the Hingol area. “Around 5 km of the coastal highway was submerged in the Hingol area,” officials said.
The Khuzdar-Ratodero highway was also affected due to floods and landslides that cut off the road link between Khuzdar and Sindh. In Karkh area, flooded streams washed away mud houses as water entered residential areas due to increased inflows.
Balochistan CM aide Mir Ziaullah Langove addressed a presser on Tuesday evening and said that 104 people, including women and children, lost their lives in Balochistan in the monsoon rains.
LCCI demands new bridge
The Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) urged the government to construct a new bridge after the bridge on the Hub River was washed away by floods. It also urged the power companies to restore power in Hub which had been suspended as a result of flooding in the area that destroyed pylons.
The chamber urged the National Highway Authority (NHA) to construct a “new bridge on war footings”. Drawing the attention of the Balochistan government, the chamber said that due to the current situation, traffic has been diverted towards the Hub Bypass. The bypass and its bridge are not wide enough, it said while seeking urgent measures to expand the bypass and its bridge.
It added that an alternate route from Karachi to Hub, the Sakran Road, must be opened for traffic after repairing till the construction of a new bridge on N-25.
Saleem Shahid from Quetta and Abdul Wahid Shahwani from Khuzdar also contributed to this report.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2022