Floods sweep away bridge in Upper Kohistan

Published August 12, 2022
<p>The bridge was located near the residential camps of the 4,500 megawatt Dasu Hydropower Project. — Photo by author</p>

The bridge was located near the residential camps of the 4,500 megawatt Dasu Hydropower Project. — Photo by author

A temporary bailey bridge installed over the Uchar nullah stream near the Karakoram Highway in Upper Kohistan's Dasu area was swept away by flash floods triggered by torrential rainfall on Friday, disconnecting Gilgit-Baltistan from the rest of the country.

The bridge was located near the residential camps of the 4,500 megawatt Dasu Hydropower Project.

Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman also confirmed the development, saying that the "compact bridge had been washed off in the flood surge".

"Karakoram Highway is blocked both sides right now. No buses are allowed for now on Babusar road. All deputy commissioners of the area need to remain vigilant. The bridge was not resilient," the minister said.

Meanwhile, in an advisory, the National Highway Authority (NHA) said that the Karakoram Highway was two-way blocked for all types of traffic due to massive flash flood at the Uchar nullah.

It said that NHA and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) teams had been mobilised at the site for restoration of traffic link.

"Travellers planning to move ahead of Dasu from and to Gilgit and other areas, are requested to use alternate route via Kaghan and Babusar Pass for both ways of traffic," the authority added.

Dasu Assistant Commissioner (AC) Hafiz Muhammad Waqar said that the bailey bridge had been temporarily installed last week after the RCC bridge over the nullah had been washed away by floods.

He also feared that if a steel bridge was installed in the area again, that too would be washed away in the upcoming spell of rainfall.

Separately, a house was demolished by a landslide near in Shangla's Alpuri area late on Thursday night. Fortunately, no human loss was reported.

Met Office warns of another heavy rain spell

The Pakistan Meteorological Depart­ment (PMD) on Thursday said that monsoon season has not yet subsided and a fresh spell of heavy rain would hit the country in August.

According to the forecast, heavy rain is expected in most parts of Balo­chistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, south Punjab, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, APP reported.

Heavy rain might generate urban flooding in Karachi, Thatta, Badin, Hyderabad, Dadu, Jamshoro, Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas from Aug 11 to 13, the warning added.

“Flash flooding is expected in Qila Saifullah, Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Mosakhel, Sherani, Sibbi, Bolan, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbella, Awaran, Turbat, Panjgur, Pasni, Jiwani, Kohat, Swabi, Nowshera, Mardan, Peshawar, Karak, Bannu, Tank and Waziristan.”

Hot and humid weather is expected in most Punjab districts. However, rain is expected in Bhakkar, Layyah, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan and Rahim Yar Khan.

Rain­fall may trigger landslides in Kashmir, KP and GB, warned the PMD.

Separately, the Met department in a meeting of the Senate’s Standing Commi­ttee on Climate Change, cautioned that the entire country will receive above normal rainfall this season.

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