Death toll from rain, snowfall surges to 36 in KP

Published March 5, 2024
A machine clears snow and debris from Booni Road on Monday restoring road link between Lower and Upper Chitral. —Dawn
A machine clears snow and debris from Booni Road on Monday restoring road link between Lower and Upper Chitral. —Dawn

PESHAWAR: Death toll from the recent devastating rains and snowfall across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa surged to 36 on Monday, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said. It added that 43 people were injured in disaster.

The authority said 25 of the deceased and 22 injured were children. It said eight persons were killed and seven injured in Bajaur, four were killed and 10 injured in Malakand, seven deaths and two injuries were reported from Swat, six deaths were reported from Khyber, three in Peshawar, three in Lower Dir, one each in Lakki Marwat and Lower Chitral and two in Mardan.

Separately, a child died and his mother was injured as roof of their house collapsed due to heavy rain in Gaji village of Gadoon Amazai in Swabi district on Sunday night. Residents retrieved the injured and the body from the debris and shifted them to hospital.

The PDMA said 46 houses were destroyed and 346 partially damaged. It said the local authorities were distributing compensation cheques among the affected families.

PDMA says 25 of deceased are children

It said Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur had directed the authorities to take immediate steps to reopen the blocked roads.

In Bajaur, the authorities decided to launch a damage assessment survey on Tuesday (today) in order to pay compensation to the owners of destroyed or damaged houses.

Officials said the decision to launch the survey was taken at a meeting of the district administration and PDMA chaired by deputy commissioner Mohammad Anwarul Haq.

The officials told Dawn that the respective tehsildars in all the seven tehsils would lead the survey teams.

Sources in the district administration said at least 120 houses were either destroyed or damaged in Bajaur.

Meanwhile, elders and political activists in Kalam area of Swat on Monday refuted the claims of the district administration that it had restored vehicular traffic on the Bahrain-Kalam and other link roads.

Speaking to reporters at the Swat Press Club, Malakand Peace Jirga chairman Rehmat Din Siddiqui, former tehsil nazim Habibullah Saqib, former Kalam nazim Malik Hasan Zeb and Malik Ghulam Ali flayed the district administration for failing to reopen the roads, blocked by heavy snowfall.

The elders insisted there was no truth in the district administration’s claims that roads had been cleared of snow.

They said the roads had been closed for last four days, troubling both the residents and tourists from different parts of the country.

They said there were no arrangements to transport patients to hospitals. They asked Malakand commissioner, Swat deputy commissioner and other relevant officials to take practical steps to restore roads to traffic instead of making ‘verbal claims’ on media.

The elders said the relevant departments should clear the main Madyan-Bahrain-Kalam highway and all other link roads of snow so food and medicines could be transported to the local markets.

They warned of taking to streets if the roads were not cleared immediately.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

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