QUETTA: At least 14 people were killed in Balochistan and Sindh on Saturday in rain-related accidents as heavy downpour wreaked havoc in the two provinces.
The fresh spell of monsoon rains, causing flash floods, claimed the lives of 10 people in Balochistan, while at least four were killed in Karachi. The death toll in Balochistan during the current monsoon season has reached 190.
Flash floods caused massive destruction in Qila Abdullah and Qila Saifullah, where hundreds of mud houses were washed away in hill torrents, while at least a dozen people were still missing.
As many as 20 people were washed away in hill torrents in Qila Abdullah after their tractor trolley overturned while they were trying to cross a flooded area.
10 dead in Balochistan as three more dams give way; PM seeks report on damage in Qila Abdullah
Official sources said that so far eight bodies have been recovered, while Provincial Disaster Management Authority teams and security forces had launched search operations.
According to a health official, the bodies of four people who drowned were brought to the district hospital, where the local administration has declared an emergency.
Four injured were also brought to a health facility in Mazai Adha area while two injured were sent to Quetta for treatment.
Heavy downpour and gushing water caused significant damage to dams and at least three dams, including the newly constructed Machka Dam, gave way which were already filled to maximum capacity during the monsoon rains in July,” a senior official of Qila Abdullah district administration told Dawn.
Officials have said that Quetta-Chaman passenger trains were also suspended as the railway track in the district was damaged at various points.
According to official sources, Marwar Syedan village in Qila Abdullah’s Mazai Adha area was badly affected as flash floods washed away several mud houses.
Damage to houses and infrastructure was also reported in the border district of Chaman where flash floods from Toba Achakzai, Toba Kakari and other mountainous areas washed away dozens of mud houses.
Officials have said that seven people, including a child, were swept away in Mach’s Gaptani area. However, they were rescued by security forces and shifted to a hospital.
Quetta-Sukkur National Highway in Bolan district was closed due to landslides triggered by heavy rains and floods.
Lasbela district also received heavy rainfall, triggering flash floods which once again suspended traffic between Quetta and Karachi as a big portion of the alternate road constructed by the National Highway Authority was washed away.
The Hub Dam which was already filled to its maximum capacity began receiving more water as its catchment areas continued to receive torrential rains.
“We have opened the spillways of the dam to release extra water in the Hub river,”Hub Dam Executive Engineer Jabbar Zehri told Dawn.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed his “deep grief and sorrow” over the destruction caused by flash floods in Qila Abdullah, APP reported.
The prime minister sought a report on the damages and directed the national and provincial disaster management authorities to expedite rescue and relief operations.
In a statement, the PM Office’s media wing said the Mr Sharif was soon expected to visit the flood-hit areas of Qila Abdullah.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022