DERA GHAZI KHAN / QUETTA: Six villagers lost their lives when violent currents of a hill torrent breached a protection dyke in Dera Ghazi Khan late on Tuesday night while families affected by rain in parts of Sindh and Balochistan on Wednesday awaited government help or tried to reach safe places on a self-help basis.
As details of destruction wrought by unusual rains and flooding began to unfold, six more people were reported missing from the torrent-hit Shadan Lund protection dyke.
A large number of people in Lasbela area of Balochistan were marooned as rescuers faced difficulties in reaching them though 150 people were rescued from Lakhra tehsil.
According to villagers living near the protection dyke, they were caught unawares as the administration did not issue any warning about the torrents coming from the Soori Lund hill. Floodwaters also affected wheat stocks of the food department.
According to rescue sources, Soori hill torrents breached areas of Pul Qamber, Basti Amdani, Chowkiwala, Basti Lashari and Chitani Zindapir Morr.
The administration launched a rescue operation using 14 boats. Bodies of Amina, 40; Khalil, 50; Parveen Bibi, Rasheeda, Naseem and the three-year-old son of one Muneer were recovered.
In Kot Chhuta tehsil, two boats took part in the rescue operation after the Wadoor hill torrents battered areas of Kumharwala and Khosa. Rescue teams shifted 46 villagers.
Heavy rains continued to play havoc in Lasbela district with large numbers of people marooned in different areas and rescue teams finding it difficult to reach them due to flooding which has submerged a vast area.
The road link between Quetta and Karachi could not be restored despite a passage of 72 hours as three bridges and a big portion of National Highway have been swept away.
However, rescue teams of PDMA along with Edhi volunteers reached the Oraki in Lakhra tehsil by boats and rescued around 150 people who were stranded in different villages. “Some 30 families were shifted to safe place through an Edhi boat,” Kalat Commissioner Daud Khilji told Dawn.
Other officials said around 200 people were still stranded in Oraki area.
Two Navy helicopters dropped relief goods, including food and drinking water, in some areas.
Reports reaching from Jhal Magsi district said a large number of people were rendered homeless after water from Mula River submerged around 10 villages in Fatehpur area.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo handed over his official helicopter to the PDMA for carrying out relief operation. The copter dropped 1,340kg ration and other relief goods in the flood-affected areas of Jhal Magsi and Gandawah areas.
In Quetta, many areas were inundated as it rained heavily in the provincial capital on Wednesday evening.
Waiting for divine help
An entire population of about 200 villages, located in three coastal talukas of Thatta district in Sindh, which lost land access due to rains, was striving hard to take refuge on nearby embankments and desperately waiting for some divine help to come to its rescue.
Due to violent streams of rainwater the newly built bridge on Ochato Baghan drain has been washed away.
In Sukkur and Larkana divisions, over 200 feeders of the Sukkur Electric Power Company, installed in different cities, have been lying out of work for more than 24 hours.
Ghulam Hussain Khawaja in Thatta, Qurban Ali Khushik in Dadu, Waseem Shamsi in Sukkur, Ali Jan Mangi in Nasirabad and Abdul Wahid Shahwani in Khuzdar also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2022