QUETTA: Balochistan’s capital Quetta was practically cut off from the rest of the country as the city’s main railway line and the highway, which were damaged due to rain, are yet to be repaired.
The railway service was suspended after the track was submerged on Monday, while the traffic on Quetta-Karachi National Highway has been suspended for four days as flood water was still flowing over the highway.
Talking to Dawn, Sibi Deputy Commissioner Mansoor Qazi, denied the reports that the track was washed away at several points. He clarified that the track was submerged and efforts were under way to dewater the area and restore railway services between Quetta and other parts of the country.
The Quetta-Sibi-Sukkur highway was closed due to overflowing flood water, said Mr Qazi.
Five members of wedding party drown in Pishin; flood destroys homes, power stations in GB; cloudburst causes flooding in Neelum Valley
Meanwhile, Bolan Deputy Commissioner has also urged the public to avoid the Quetta-Karachi highway as it was not open for traffic yet after being damaged due to floods.
In a tragic accident in Saranan area of Pishin district, five people, who were part of a wedding party, died after being swept away in a flash flood.
The victims, including three women and two children , were travelling along with family members in a convoy when they got stuck in gushing water.
Officials said that 11 people including women and children were rescued by male family members, travelling in other vehicles.
The dead bodies were later recovered by rescue officials.
The situation in other districts has not improved yet as Musakhail, Zhob, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Qila Abdullah, Nasirabad and Lasbela were still receiving torrential rains for the past two days.
According to officials, hundreds of mud houses were damaged in Qila Saifullah, Muslim Bagh, Musakhail, Kohlu, Dera Bugti and other areas.
In Musakhail, several people were stranded due to incessant rain which caused flash floods in seasonal streams.
Rescue teams, including the army, Frontier Constabulary, Levies and local administration were trying to rescue people from far-flung areas of the district which were cut-off due to washing away of connecting roads and of bridges.
A senior official told Dawn that three missing persons, who were swept away in Musakhail due to a dam breach, were found in injured condition and moved to a hospital.
“So far 12 people have died in Musakhail in rain-related accidents,” a senior local administration official told Dawn.
In Sibi district, the gushing Lehri River damaged mud houses in Nasirabad, leaving hundreds of people stranded. The water from Goghi Dam was also reaching the area after it was filled to maximum capacity and had started to overflow.
“The locals in Sibi were provided with relief goods including food, drinking water, tents and other items after they were rescued from flooded villages,” Sibi Deputy Commissioner Mansoor Qazi told Dawn.
Meanwhile, the train service between Pakistan and Iran was restored after 11 days. The service was suspended after the Quetta-Taftan railway line was washed away at six points.
So far, 196 people have lost their lives in the province during the current monsoon season.
More destruction in GB
The gushing flood water continued to leave behind destruction as dozens homes, bridges and and roads were swept away on Tuesday in several Gilgit Baltistan areas.
As flash floods in rivers and streams continued, several people were left homeless while crops, agricultural lands, trees, fish farms, irrigation channels, hydroelectric power stations and transmission infrastructure were destroyed.
According to police, flood from Guchi nullah blocked Hunza River in Guru Jaglot area and diverted the water towards residential areas, which damaged several residential and commercial properties along the river.
The traffic from other areas of the country to GB via Babusar Pass has been halted while the Karakoram Highway was also blocked at Uchar Nullah in Upper Kohistan area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Cloudburst in Neelum Valley
A cloudburst-induced flash flood in a water channel of Neelum Valley swept away at least three houses and some vehicles, according to initial reports.
Saeed Qureshi, a senior State Disaster Management Authority official, told Dawn that the flood had occurred in Ratti Galli nullah some six kilometres downstream Ratti Galli Lake, a popular tourist destination.
Jamil Nagri in Gilgit and Tariq Naqash in Muzaffarabad also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2022