QUETTA: An eight-member family was among 10 people who were swept away by a torrent following a spell of heavy rain in the Awaran and Zhob areas of Balochistan, officials said on Saturday.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) officials said torrential rains, which started on Friday evening in Khuzdar and Awaran districts, resulted in flash floods in seasonal streams.

According to the officials, the family comprising eight members — three women, two children, and three men — was on its way to Kalat from Awaran in a vehicle. As they tried to go across a stream near Jhao despite strong currents, the vehicle was washed away.

Levies personnel and officials of the Awaran administration rushed to the scene to trace out the bodies. “Levies have recovered seven bodies and shifted them to a nearby hospital,” Jummadad Khan, deputy commissioner of Awaran, told Dawn when reached over the phone. One of the bodies is yet to be received.

The family belongs to the Surab area of Kalat and was on their way home when the tragic incident occurred. “Seven out of eight bodies have been dispatched to their native town (Surab) by the administration via ambulances,” he said.

The deceased were identified as Azizullah, 38, Munir Ahmed, 37, Ayesha Bibi, 40, Noorzadi, 18,

Seema Bibi, 17, Babiba Bibi, 9, and Museer Ahmed, 7. However, the body of Mohsin was missing and efforts were underway to retrieve it.

Separately, at least two persons were washed away in Zhob.

Officials said that the body of Muhammad Shafiq, 60, was found in the hilly area of Sombaza close to the Pak-Afghan border while Masood Khan, 16, was still missing.

The victims were present in the area with their goats and found themselves trapped in a hill torrent. “At least 10 goats have also been swept away in the flood water,” Ramzan Palal, the deputy commissioner of Zhob said. The bodies of 10 goats were found in the area, he added. There are reports that some mud houses were also damaged in the rains.

However, the deputy commissioner said that the situation was under control after heavy rains were reported across Balochistan, including Zhob, Kalat, Nushki, Dalbandin, Ziarat, Harnai, Duki, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Loralai, Awaran, Mashkey, Uthal, and Quetta. According to reports, the deluge also affected traffic between Quetta and Karachi after an alternative road near Uthal was swept away in the rain.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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