GWADAR: Heavy rains wreaked havoc in Gwadar, Makran and northern and central parts of Balochistan on Wednesday, suspending the normal life and traffic.

The 30-hour-long rains triggered flash floods, submerging most of the areas. Paramilitary forces, called in by the local administration, reached the flood-affected areas and launched rescue and relief operations there. The Gwadar district administration declared a state of emergency in the rain-hit areas.

Officials said Gwadar district received around 180 millimetres of rainfall over the past two days, disrupting the normal life and rendering hundreds of people homeless. Several dozens of human settlements and commercial establishments collapsed as floodwater entered houses, while roads were badly affected.

Traffic could not be restored between Karachi and Gwadar due to damage caused to the coastal highway.

Port city receives 180mm rainfall in two days; 280 people rescued

Floodwater entered houses, forcing families to flee to safer places. “We have lost our precious households in the floodwater and our houses were not in position to live in,” Hayatullah Baloch, a resident of Gwadar, told Dawn over telephone.

The sewerage system of the port city choked as the floodwater entered it and sewage water was flowing on roads and streets. There is no water drainage system available in Gwadar and only a few pumps were working for dewatering the flooded areas. The water supply system was also badly affected and people were facing shortage of drinking water. Gwadar-Peshkan road and several dykes in Surbandan, Jewany, Palery and other areas have been washed away.

The officials said that around 280 people, including women and children whose houses collapsed, had been rescued and shifted to the GDA Rest Houses and China School. The boundary walls of over 100 houses were washed away.

They said army, navy, Gwadar Development Authority, Gwadar Port Authority and municipal committee were helping the flood-affected people.

Meanwhile, Quetta and many other towns also received rain and snowfall that flooded the human settlements and roads. The overnight rain affected the power and gas supplies in Quetta, Ziarat, Kalat, Mastung and Pishin areas.

Saleem Shahid in Quetta also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2024

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