Incessant rains batter Balochistan

Published March 2, 2024
GWADAR: People use boats to rescue those stranded in their homes after heavy rains lashed the Makran coastal belt, on Friday.—Dawn                             Report on Page 5
GWADAR: People use boats to rescue those stranded in their homes after heavy rains lashed the Makran coastal belt, on Friday.—Dawn Report on Page 5

QUETTA/GWADAR: Heavy rains, which have been continuing for the last one week across Balochistan, continued to pound miseries on the people on Friday, paralysing life in 22 out of 35 districts of the province.

The situation in Gwadar and Kech districts of Makran is the worst as hundreds of houses have collapsed, rendering a large number of families homeless.

Makran and other districts were completely cut off from other parts of the province due to damaged highways and inter-district roads.

The non-stop rains have also cut off rail and road links between Pakistan and Iran as railway tracks between Noshki and Dalbandin were washed away by floodwater and a bridge at Coastal Highway near Pleary area of Gwadar was damaged.

Also, traffic between Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan and Islamabad was suspended on Friday when heavy rains triggered landslides blocking the highway near Dhanasar area of Sherani district of Balochistan.

Railway tracks between Noshki and Dalbandin washed away; Pak-Iran rail, road links severed

Officials said that trade through the land route between Pakistan and Iran was badly affected and hundreds of vehicles carrying import and export goods for Pakistan and Iran were struck up on both sides of the damaged bridge and roads.

Heavy rains continued to lash Noshki and Chagai districts on a third consecutive day. Areas close to Pak-Iran border and Afghanistan also received heavy rains which triggered flashflooding, washing away or damaging several connecting roads and suspending traffic.

Also, a large area of Baracha locality, close to Pak-Afghan border in Noshki, was badly affected as torrential rains sparked flood, completely paralysing life there.

Director General of Provincial Disaster Management Authority Aurangzeb Khan said that 22 districts of Balochistan have been badly affected by rains. Reports of house collapse, damaged roads and highways had been received, he said.

Three deaths have been reported so far in the current spell of heavy showers across the province.

Three children — two teenage girls and their brother — were killed when the roof of their mud house collapsed due to heavy rain in Kharan town of Rakhsan division, a senior official of the town administration told Dawn over the phone.

He said the father of the children was seriously injured in the incident.

In Makran, though the rain stopped after two days, floodwater was still standing in most parts of Gwadar, Jeweni and Kech district. The local administration in Gwadar faced the challenge of draining floodwater in the absence of heavy machinery to pump out water.

“From Shaheen Chowk to civil hospital area in Gwadar town is presenting the view of a big lake in which several hundred houses and shops can be seen under four to five feet of water,” Mohammad Yousaf Baloch, a local resident, told Dawn by phone.

He said that his house was submerged by floodwater and everything in the household was perished.

“I have shifted my family to a friend’s home,” he said.

The founder of Haq Du Tehreek, Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman, who was elected as an MPA from the area in recent elections, visited the affected localities along with Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Aurangzeb Badini and other officials concerned.

He said the National Highway Authority and other officials have failed in restoring traffic on highways and inter-district roads, adding that passengers travelling in buses and other vehicles were stranded in Jeweni, Suntsar and Pleary areas of Gwadar district.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2024

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