QUETTA: As heavy rainfall continued to lash most parts of Balochistan, one person was killed in Gwadar after being hit by a thunderbolt, while traffic between the southwestern province and Sindh remained suspended after a temporary bridge on Bolan River was washed away in a flash flood.

The rain, which started a day earlier, continued with thunderstorms causing disruptions to normal life in different parts of the province.

A seven-year-old child was injured in the Zhob area after a wall of a house collapsed due to the deluge.

The new spell of heavy rain, which started on Tuesday morning, continued throughout the night and Wednesday in Quetta and surrounding areas, submerged parts of the provincial capital, as rainwater entered settlements, particularly in slums, while a swollen stream threatened human settlements on the outskirts of the city.

According to reports received from different areas of the province, rainstorms played havoc in Zhob, Loralai, Pishin, Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Toba Achakzai, Ziarat, Dukki, Qila Saifullah, Kalat, Mastung, Khuzdar, Sibi, Bolan, Lasbela, Nasirabad, Kachhi, Dalbandin, Taftan, Noshki, Gwadar, and many parts of the Makran division.

Temporary bridge on Bolan River washed away in a flash flood

The people of these areas had experienced the super floods last year and could face a similar situation if the new spell of rain continued.

Pinjra Bridge on the Bolan River, which had washed away during the previous deluge, faced a similar fate, as the temporary bridge which was constructed by the National Highway Authority was washed away. Consequently, all kinds of traffic between Sindh and Balochistan were suspended.

Kacchi Deputy Comm­issioner Samiullah Agha told Dawn that the National Highway in Bolan was closed in light of flooding in the Bolan River.

He said that transporters and other people should not travel on the Quetta-Sibi highway till further orders.

“At least 48 hours will take to restore traffic on the highway,” Mr Agha said, adding that the Levies personnel, the PDMA staff, and other concerned authorities were present at the highway to monitor the situation.

According to officials, Kohlu and Dera Bugti districts were also receiving heavy rain that could bring heavy flooding in Lehri and other rivers in the Nasirabad division which could damage wheat crops in the area ready for harvesting.

Reports from Kohlu suggested that rainwater entered many human settlements and also affected traffic between Kohlu and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The Quetta-Dera Ismail Khan highway via Zhob also received heavy rainfall that affected traffic since a large number of coaches and other vehicles were reportedly stranded at different locations.

Damage to mud houses was also reported in Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Toba Achakzai, and Pishin districts where people were being shifted to safer places.

Balochistan minister Ziaullah Langove held a meeting in the evening with the PDMA officials and reviewed the situation in the wake of heavy rains. During the meeting, multiple decisions were taken to deal with the situation.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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