Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif interacts with flood-hit residents of Shambani village in Jhal Magsi. He arrived in Balochistan on Saturday to review rescue and relief operations.—APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif interacts with flood-hit residents of Shambani village in Jhal Magsi. He arrived in Balochistan on Saturday to review rescue and relief operations.—APP

QUETTA/PESHAWAR/SUKKUR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured the flood-ravaged people of Balochistan of all possible help and cooperation in their rescue and rehabilitation, and that his government will not leave them alone in this challenging time.

Meanwhile, the death toll in flood and rain-related accidents in Balochistan was reported to be 11, including three Levies officials, on Saturday; at least 10 people were killed and several others injured, dozens of houses and other infrastructure destroyed in various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and in Sindh, five bodies were found stuck in different gates of Sukkur Barrage, taking the official death toll over the last three days to 14.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority in KP issued an alert, warning of high flood in the Kabul River and its tributaries and streams during the next 48 hours. It said the heavy rains also destroyed houses and infrastructure in Khyber, Buner, Swat and other areas of the province.

“The federal government will extend all help to the areas that suffered losses due to torrential rains and flash floods, including Balochistan,” Prime Minister Sharif said on Saturday while talking to the media after visiting the Jhal Magsi area of Nasirabad division.

Three Levies officials among 11 drown in Balochistan; many houses, infrastructure destroyed in KP; five bodies found stuck in Sukkur Barrage gates

Earlier, when the PM arrived in Jacobabad along with his team, he was briefed by Balochistan Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Aquili and NDMA chairman Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz on the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in the province.

The PM also took an aerial view of the affected areas to assess the extent of losses. He stopped at the Shambani village and met some of the victims. He ordered the establishment of a medical camp and provision of medicines to the affected village. He also ordered the posting of a veterinary doctor for the livestock.

Talking to the media at the village, the PM claimed that 300 people, including 124 in Balochistan, had lost their lives in floods, adding federal and Balochistan governments would both provide Rs1 million to families of each victim. He said the government would also compensate for damaged houses.

Meanwhile, five people, including three Levies personnel, were reportedly killed in rain and flood-related accidents in Mastung and Zhob. Torrential rains and flash floods wreaked havoc in Khuzdar, Kalat and Mastung districts while flooding continued in the already adversely affected areas of Lasbela and Jhal Magsi districts.

Moreover, the death toll in Chagai and Naushki districts due to floods and heavy rains was reported to be six on Saturday, including three minor girls of a family, an assistant lineman of the Quetta Electric Supply Company, a boy who had been washed away along with his car and a man, who went missing on Thursday, was found dead from Khaisar Nala in Noshki on Saturday.

Traffic on RCD highway was partially suspended after flash floods damaged the road at several locations, while the freight train service between Pakistan and Iran also remained suspended for the third consecutive day owing to damages to the track. Electricity supply to a few towns in Chagai and many areas of Dalbandin was suspended.

Also on Saturday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took an aerial view of the flooded areas of Dadu and Jamshoro districts. He announced a relief package for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges in Dadu as well as compensation of Rs1m for families of each victim of rain-related incidents. He also distributed ration bags among 1,000 affected families.

Saleem Shahid in Quetta, Ali Raza Rind in Chagai and Waseem Shamsi in Sukkur contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2022

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