10 killed, 12 injured in two days as rain batters KP

Published March 31, 2024
A road in Upper Kohistan’s Barseen is blocked after heavy downpour for a third consecutive day on Sunday. — Photo provided by author
A road in Upper Kohistan’s Barseen is blocked after heavy downpour for a third consecutive day on Sunday. — Photo provided by author

Ten people were killed while 12 were injured in rain-related incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the past two days, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said on Sunday.

The province has been witnessing heavy rain since Friday. Late on Saturday night, heavy downpours coupled with hailstorms hit parts of the province, resulting in cattle perishing, including a cattle pen in Upper Kohistan’s Harban area, and several houses being damaged.

PDMA spokesperson Anwar Shahzad confirmed the casualties to Dawn.com today, adding that the deceased comprised eight children and two women while the injured included nine children, two women and a man.

The spokesperson added that according to reports received till Saturday night, 27 houses were damaged in rain and hailstorm-related incidents in KP. Relief operations were under way in the affected areas, he said.

A brief report issued by the PDMA at 11:30pm on Saturday night, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, stated that the casualties occurred in various roof and house collapse incidents in Shangla, Bannu, Bajaur, Peshawar, Nowshera, and Mansehra.

According to the same report, three houses were fully damaged while 24 were partially damaged in the above areas as well as in Mohmand, Mardan, North Waziristan, Swat and Upper Dir.

Meanwhile, Harban tehsil chairman Asadullah Quraishi told Dawn.com that 19 cattle had perished in rain-triggered flashflood incidents as 15 cattle pens were washed away.

He further said that several houses were damaged, however, no casualties were reported. Quraishi further said that the locals had gathered to help the affected families and recover the perished cattle from the rubble.

National Highway Authority (NHA) Deputy Director Ghulam Abbas told Dawn.com that the Karakoram Highway was blocked near Upper Kohistan’s Barseen area and work had begun to clear it.

The KKH had been reopened for one-way traffic on Saturday afternoon after it was blocked at multiple locations the day before due to landslides triggered by heavy rain.

According to the PMD’s daily weather report, a “westerly wave is affecting upper parts of the country”.

While dry weather was expected in most parts of the country, “rain-wind/thunderstorm (snowfall over mountains) is expected at isolated [places] in Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and upper KP”, the PMD said.

A rainfall report issued by the Met Office at 8am on Sunday stated that Balakot received the highest amount of rainfall (38 millimetres) in the past 24 hours while Kakul witnessed 34mm, Peshawar 24mm and Pattan and Upper Dir each 23mm.

On Saturday, Peshawar Electric Sup­ply Company (Pesco) had said 54 of its feeders in Pesha­war, Nowshera, Mardan and Swat tripped after the rainfall.

The staff was working to restore power su­p­ply, the power utility company had said. In Swat, residents of the picturesque Kalam Valley and its surrounding areas woke up to a blanket of snow covering the landscape.

Local authorities have issued advisories urging the residents to exercise caution while travelling, particularly in areas which received snowfall. Additionally, emergency response teams have been put on standby in low-lying areas.

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