QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: At least 13 more deaths were reported from Balochistan in rain-related incidents on Thursday as heavy downpour unleashed floods in Lasbela and Qila Saifullah districts, adding to difficulties in evacuation of families stranded in remote parts of the province.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif set up a committee and asked his ministers to assess the damage caused by monsoon rains across the country and submit a report by Aug 4. He also decided to write to the Supreme Court to seek funds for Karachi, which was one of the worst victims of the recent deluge.
In Uthal, dozens of villages came under water as a result of floods and a large number of houses were demolished.
At least three women were swept away by torrents in Kanraj area of Bela while four others drowned in Uthal, an official said.
Dozens of houses washed away in fresh spell; PM forms body to assess damage
Many villages were badly affected near Muslim Bagh where five persons, including two children, were swept away by floodwaters.
“An infant is among the five people swept away by the torrents,” Muslim Bagh Assistant Commissioner Zakaullah Durrani told Dawn. He added that 20 people were injured as well. Moreover, one body was recovered from the Hub River after a motorcyclist fell into it.
A large number of houses collapsed in the Qadirabad area of Noshki after heavy rains in the afternoon drenched the area.
“Over 40 houses have been washed away in the Qadirabad area and many others were badly damaged,” officials of the local administration said. They added that Qaziabad was also badly affected as an embankment (a protection wall) was under heavy pressure.
Flash floods in Chagai
Several mud houses and shops were damaged in many parts of the Chagai and Nushki districts owing to flash floods. According to official sources, many vehicles were washed away in parts of Chagai and Nushki; however, no loss of life was reported. Dalbandin Assistant Commissioner Abdul Basit Buzdar told Dawn the local administration was assessing losses.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army started relief and rescue activities in Siyah Chang, where floodwaters entered houses and compelled residents to vacate their homes.
PM forms committee
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the PM assessed the damage during the recent rains and floods and asked the committee to visit all the affected areas within four days to compile a comprehensive report. The prime minister directed the administration to raise the amount of compensation to affected persons from Rs50,000 to Rs200,000.
The compensation for partially damaged houses will be increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 250,000 and for fully damaged structures from Rs 50,000 to Rs 500,000.
For restoration of the damaged infrastructure in Karachi in light of recent rains, the prime minister said the federal government would write a letter to the Supreme Court for provision of money available with the top court.
The prime minister spoke to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and sought details about the loss of lives and property due to rain in the province. CM Murad, Balochistan CM Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, and provincial chief secretaries also participated in the meeting through video link.
It was highlighted that the casualties reported in the aftermath of rains were: one in Islamabad, 106 in Balochistan, 90 in Sindh, 69 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 76 in Punjab, eight in Gilgit-Baltistan, and six in Azad Kashmir.
Ali Raza Rind from Chagai contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2022