Death toll reaches 1,136 across country as flood threat lingers in KP

Published August 29, 2022
<p>A view of houses submerged by floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on  Monday. — DawnNewsTV</p>

A view of houses submerged by floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

<p>A view of the flooding situation in Nowshera on Monday. — DawnNewsTV</p>

A view of the flooding situation in Nowshera on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

<p>A view of flooded fields in Layyah on Monday. — DawnNewsTV</p>

A view of flooded fields in Layyah on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

The overall death toll from floods across the country reached 1,136 on Monday as the threat of more flooding lingered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Radio Pakistan reported that according to a situation report of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 1,634 individuals were injured in various rain and flood-related incidents and over 735,375 livestock animals were lost.

Additionally, over 3,451 kilometres of roads, 149 bridges, 170 shops, and 949,858 houses were damaged across the country.


Today’s developments:

  • Death toll reaches 1,136
  • Water level decreases in Kabul River at Nowshera
  • Further 35 tourists rescued from Kumrat
  • KP CM visits Chitral and Dir
  • PM Shehbaz visits Nowshera and Charsadda to review damage and relief operations, announces Rs25,000 for all the flood-hit families
  • Aid for relief and rehabilitation pours into Pakistan from friendly countries
  • Indian PM Narendra Modi extends condolences to flood victims
  • Sindh CM visits Sehwan and Dadu, inspects Manchar Lake water level
  • PTI raises Rs5 billion for flood victims in international telethon
  • Govt forms National Flood Response and Coordination Center

Meanwhile, the water level in Kabul River still ranged from medium to very high flow. Data available from the flood cell showed that a decrease of 41,000 cusecs was recorded in the river’s water level and 296,731 cusecs were passing through the river at Nowshera — which was still “very high” flow.

However, that was lower than Sunday’s flow of over 336,000 cusecs.

The irrigation department also said that a “high” flow was reported in Kabul River at Warsak with 103,614 cusecs and a “medium” flow at Adezai Bridge with 54,495 cusecs flowing.

According to a statement from Nowshera’s deputy commissioner office, the water level in the Kabul River was continuously decreasing and was likely to go down further in the next five to six hours.

Moreover, high water level was also observed in the Indus River at Chashma, with inflow and outflow levels recorded at 525,362 cusecs and 519,362, respectively.

However, the flood cell data showed that the rest of the rivers in KP were flowing at low, normal, and medium levels.

Meanwhile, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan visited flood-affected areas of the province, met affectees and announced Rs100 million aid for them.

The PTI said that he would visit four districts today — Upper and Lower Chitral and Upper and Lower Dir — to review relief and rescue operations.

“In this hour of difficulty, we stand side by side with our people. We believe in public service by being among the people,” CM Khan said.

Rescue operations also continued today as 35 more tourists, including women and children, were airlifted from Kumrat Valley, tour operator Syed Aqil Shah told Dawn.com.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner of Swat said that seven operations were conducted in Utror, Gabral, Uryan and Kalam in the last two days in which 240 persons were brought back.

Relief activities have also begun in Lower Kohistan, according to the area’s assistant commissioner, Muhammad Saqib Khan.

“Two relief camps have been set up at Gabbar and Mazo areas of Lower Kohistan for relief activities, while teams have left for the assessment of losses across the district,” he told Dawn.com.

Khan said that the people stranded in several areas of Dubair, Ranolia, Kayal areas had been evacuated to safer places, however, roads lead to Dubair, Ranolia and other areas were still blocked as most of their stretches had been washed away by the floods.

The Karakoram Highway has reopened for light traffic in the limits of Lower Kohistan, the assistant commissioner added.

PM visits KP, announces Rs25,000 for flood victims

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Nowshera and Charsadda today and announced Rs25,000 for every flood-affected family, promising that the funds would disbursed by December 3.

Accompanied by Advisor to PM on Political and Public Affairs Ami Muqam and other local leaders, the premier met the affected families.

Talking to media persons, he regretted that so far 42 people had lost their lives during floods in the province. “Hundreds of thousands of houses have been completely damaged […] In areas such as Kalam, Kohistan, Swat and Dir, the rains have wreaked havoc.”

PM Shehbaz said that the families of the deceased would be provided with Rs1 million. “Along with NDMA, we will work day and night. And after completing my visit to KP, I will announce a grant for the province too,” he promised.

Furthermore, he vowed that the federal and provincial government will, together, stand with the affectees until and unless they were compensated for their losses.

Separately, Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Hassan Azhar Hayat visited the flood affected areas in Swat Valley today.

 Commander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Hassan Azhar Hayat visits the flood-affected areas in Swat Valley. — Photo: ISPR
Commander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Hassan Azhar Hayat visits the flood-affected areas in Swat Valley. — Photo: ISPR

He interacted with flood affectees and tourists who were evacuated by the Pakistan Army from Kalam and Kumrat, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

He also met the locals and troops busy in rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts.

Imran Khan raises Rs5 billion in fundraising telethon

Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan held an international telethon to raise funds for flood affectees today. According to PTI’s official Twitter, the former prime minister raised a “record amount” of Rs5 billion.

The PTI also shared details of the two bank accounts in which donations could be given.

Talking to callers, Imran said that the money collected would be donated to all the provinces across the country and its disbursement would be managed by former chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Dr Sania Nishtar.

The former prime minister said that the entire country had been affected by the floods this year. “These tough times call for the nation to unite as one and help each other.

“Estimates say that over 1,000 people have lost their lives […] and no government can face this challenge, only a nation can,” he stressed.

Imran also called on all the Pakistanis living abroad to donate generously to their brothers and sisters suffering today.

Pakistan receives aid from friendly countries

Meanwhile, in a statement today, the military’s media wing said that Pakistan’s friendly countries had pledged relief and rehabilitation efforts for the destruction caused by the unprecedented floods.

“Four military aircrafts from Turkey have arrived in Karachi carrying relief goods, while two military aircrafts from UAE have arrived at the Noorkhan Air Base Rawalpindi,” the ISPR said.

It said that one military aircraft from UAE will arrive in the country this evening, while another two aircrafts from China will reach Pakistan in the next 48 hours. Bahrain has also pledged one aircraft to help assist flood victims.

“The relief goods being brought through these aircrafts include tents, medicines and food items,” the ISPR added.

Separately, the Embassy of Japan in Islamabad has decided to provide emergency relief goods (Tents and Plastic Sheets) through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Pakistan in response to the damages caused by the flood disaster.

In a press release today, it said that the emergency relief goods, which will be delivered in two batches, were expected to first arrive on August 30 at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.

“Please allow me to extend my sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families. May the departed souls find eternal peace and their family have the strength to bear this irreparable loss,” Wada Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, said.

He reiterated that Japan would support the country’s efforts to overcome this challenge in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan.

On Monday, Belgium also announced that it will offer Pakistan 300 tents to shelter a total of 1800 people.

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has also committed $50,000 to support survivors and affected communities. The contribution will support the immediate needs of those affected by the climate emergency, including food; emergency shelter; water and sanitation solutions; and hygiene items. SRC will also launch a public fundraising appeal to support the relief and recovery operations.

SRC’s contributions will directly support the humanitarian response by Red Cross Red Crescent partners on the ground, including the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). PRCS is currently providing relief assistance in 23 of the most affected districts, deploying six mobile water treatment plants, distributing hygiene kits, jerry cans and mosquito nets, and providing cash assistance to displaced communities.

India, China extend condolences to flood victims

Later in the day, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity,” he said, hoping for an early restoration of normalcy.

Separately, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent a message of condolence to his Pakistani counterpart, Arif Alvi, over the severe floods hitting the country.

He assured that as all-weather strategic cooperative partners and “ironclad” friends, China and Pakistan had been sharing weal and woe for a long time, reaching out to each other and responding to major challenges such as natural disasters side by side.

After the floods struck, China has responded immediately, and will continue to provide urgently needed assistance to Pakistan and support the country in its disaster relief work, he promised, hoping that with the joint efforts of the Pakistani government and people, those in the disaster-hit areas would overcome the floods and rebuild their homes as early as possible.

Govt forms National Flood Response and Coordination Center

Later today, PM Shehbaz tweeted that the coalition government had approved the establishment of National Flood Response and Coordination Center at the national flood emergency meeting.

The center aims to provide institutional response to the flood calamity. It would be led by the PM, comprise federal ministers, representatives of the armed forces, chief ministers, and experts.

“The Center will serve as a bridge between disaster management authorities, donors & government institutions. It will collect and analyse latest information and pass it on to the relevant govt agencies,” he tweeted, adding that it would also oversee rescue and relief work including restoration of infrastructure.

PTCL services in Quetta restored

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said that the technical fault in Pakistan Telecommunications Company Ltd’s (PTCL) optic fibre cable, that had disconnected Quetta from the rest of the country due to flash floods, had been restored.

“PTCL services, and voice and data services of Ufone and Telenor are working as per normal whereas Jazz and Zong voice services are operational. Efforts are underway to restore services in other affected areas,” it added.

According to NDMA, a total of 244 people have died in the floods in Balochistan, while 110 were left injured. Over 500,000 livestock animals were lost and more than 61,000 houses were damaged across the province.

In Quetta and neighbouring areas, electricity has been suspended since the last three days in Mastung, Chagai, Noshki, and Kharan after electric towers in the areas were swept away during the rains.

The spokesperson of the Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) told Dawn.com that it was facing a shortage of 700 megawatts of electricity. “At present, we only have the capacity of 250 megawatts,” he said, adding that it would take a week for the situation to normalise again.

Punjab

Radio Pakistan reported that according to the military’s media wing, over 70 relief camps were established in Punjab to facilitate flood victims.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that 10 relief camps were established in Lahore division, 12 in Multan, 17 in Gujranwala, and 19 in Bahawalpur division.

The ISPR added that further camps would be established and the flood affectees were being provided cooked food, medicines and other items of daily use.

It also said that a helpline number (1135) was set up by the army to guide the public regarding donations for flood relief.

Sindh CM visits Sehwan and Dadu, orders establishment of protect bunds

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah left to visit Sehwan and Dadu today, along with provincial ministers.

The chief minister inspected the water level at Manchar Lake and its dams. He was briefed by officials about the water flow at various barrages. He directed the irrigation and Wapda authorities to keep strict vigilance on the Nara Valley Drain (MNV), Indus Link, and Johi branch by strengthening their embankments to protect the main cities of Sehwan, Mehar, Johi and portions of Dadu.

CM Shah expressed hope that the lake’s water level would begin dropping in the next eight days and said he had to take decisions to prevent cities from drowning.

Talking to the media at the lake, the chief minister said the situation was “bad throughout Sindh” and the government’s first priority was to save lives.

“Currently, the pressure is high on both sides of the river,” he said.

The chief minister said he had talked with the naval chief and two navy helicopters were reaching Dadu. Regarding relief operations, he said the government had distributed 150,000 tents but the need was “much greater”.

He also said that action was being taken against hoarders and those who were involved in stealing funds from the Benazir Income Support Programme would be jailed.

Later in the day, Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Saeed Ahmed visited flood affected areas of Larkana, Noshero Feroz, Khairpur, Shah Jilani and Kambar Shahdad Kot.

According to the ISPR, he was given a detailed briefing on the ongoing rescue and relief operations in flood affected areas.

Lt Gen Ahmad appreciated the ongoing relief work and directed to render all possible support to the flood affectees.


Additional information by Naveed Siddiqui.

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