Rains kill three in Khyber

Published August 17, 2022
Stranded passengers walk through the eroded portion of MNJ Road in Battal area of Kaghan valley on Tuesday. — Dawn
Stranded passengers walk through the eroded portion of MNJ Road in Battal area of Kaghan valley on Tuesday. — Dawn

KHYBER/MANSEHRA: Three people, including two children, were killed and scores of houses were damaged in rain-related incidents in Khyber tribal district on Tuesday.

Rescue 1122 officials said a man and a minor boy were swept away by downpour-induced flash floods in Malagori and Ghundi areas of Jamrud tehsil as torrential rain fell in the region in the afternoon.

In another incident, a minor boy lost life and two of his relatives suffered injuries when the roof of their house collapsed in Ali Masjid area of Jamrud tehsil.

They were taken to a nearby hospital, where the doctors declared their condition to be out of danger.

Kaghan bridge’s collapse suspends KP-GB traffic

Torrential rains also damaged houses in several localities. Suspension of power supply for several hours was also reported.

Meanwhile, a bridge on the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road was washed away by flash floods in Battal area of Kaghan valley on Tuesday evening.

The bridge’s collapse suspended traffic between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan stranding road users, including tourists, in large numbers.

Deputy commissioner Adnan Khan Bittani told reporters that the National Highway Authority had shifted machinery to the area to install a temporary bridge for traffic’s restoration.

He said the continuing rains had hampered rescue and rehabilitation activities but he hoped for the early resumption of those activities. He said the people stranded in the valley, especially tourists, would leave for their destinations soon.

While a portion of the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road was eroded by the downpour, heavy landslides blocked it at many points.

The road’s closure caused long queues of vehicles on its both sides to the misery of travellers, especially women and children.

“Besides blocking roads, landslides also diverted the course of the Kunhar River water. They also hit a pickup vehicle injuring its driver,” a witness said, adding that it could take days to clear the road of the mass of rock and earth, which came down the hills.

Kaghan Hoteliers Association president Saith Matiullah hoped for the early reopening of the road to traffic and said hotel owners and workers would treat stranded people as guests until the artery was blocked.

Kaghan Development Authority assistant director Asad Shahzad said machinery had been shifted to the rain-hit areas, while tourists and passengers had moved away from the MNJ Road on foot.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2022

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