Two killed, 10 injured as rain continues to lash KP

Published April 14, 2024
Rickshaws pass through the rainwater accumulated on Saddar Road in Peshawar on Saturday. — White Star
Rickshaws pass through the rainwater accumulated on Saddar Road in Peshawar on Saturday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: With rain continuing to batter Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the second consecutive day, two people were killed and 10 suffered injuries as eight houses caved in parts of the Chitral region on Saturday.

The downpour-induced house collapses were reported in Chew Dok, Bakrabad, Prakalak Rumbur, and Istaru areas of Lower and Upper Chitral districts.

Lower Chitral deputy commissioner Mohammad Imran Khan told Dawn that two houses caved in the Chew Doke area of Chitral City, killing a woman, while her minor child was rescued by officials of the district administration with the help of police and Rescue 1122 personnel.

He said three such incidents occurred in Barkarabad village of Chitral town, injuring four people, including women, while a house collapsed in Parkalak village in the Rumbur area.

The DC said the Peshawar Road was reopened to traffic after the removal of landslides, while efforts were afoot to clear the Chitral-Booni Road.

House collapses, road closures reported in Chitral, Dir, Swat

A man was killed in Istaru village and many others injured in Upper Chitral’s Terich, Khot, Yarkhoon, and Laspur villages in rain-related incidents.

Workers also reopened the Chitral-Booni Road, which connects Lower and Upper Chitral districts, after a closure for many hours.

However, Garam Chashma Road in Lower Chitral and Torkhow Road in Upper Chitral remained closed to traffic due to the collapse of hillocks and landslides after heavy rains.

In Lower Dir district, a house collapsed in the Darmal Bala area of Balambat tehsil during the downpour. No one was hurt in the incident.

Volunteers recovered household items from the site.

It rained all through the day in parts of Lower and Upper Dir districts, while hilltops in Upper Dir received snowfall.

Several link roads were blocked by landslides or flooded streams.

Water levels in the Panjkora River surged, washing away agricultural lands on both sides in the Rabat, Wari, and Timergara areas.

Hundreds of tourists going to the Kalash valleys were stranded in the region due to the closure of the Valley Road. Workers tried to clear the road, but the continuous downpour hampered their work.

It snowed in the high-altitude villages of Upper and Lower Chitral for the second day. The meteorological department has forecast snowfall and widespread rains for more days.

The heavy rain triggered landslides in the Kolalai area of Bahrain tehsil, leading to the closure of the Bahrain-Kalam Road in Swat district.

Residents and tourists said long queues of vehicles were seen on the road to Kalam.

“Many tourists have got trapped in Kalam and can’t return, while others were stopped on the way to Kalam,” said Irfan Khan of Bahrain.

Another resident, Aftab Ahmad, complained that the road from Bahrain to Kalam hadn’t been repaired since the 2022 flash floods damaged it.

“The provincial government proudly shares the large tourist arrival numbers [from Swat] but has completely ignored the dilapidated condition of the road to Kalam,” he said.

The district administration claimed in a news release that the road was reopened to traffic after the removal of landslides with the help of heavy machinery.

It added that all tourists had left Kalam “safely.”

The provincial capital also reported heavy rainfall from around Friday midnight to late Saturday afternoon.

However, no damage to public life was reported.

Heavy rain caused power outages and the inundation of roads, according to residents.

In a statement, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company said the downpour affected power supply to a large part of the province.

It added that 140 of its power feeders tripped in the province due to heavy rain.

“A total of 56 feeders tripped in Peshawar Circle, 44 in Khyber, 20 in Swat and 22 in Bannu,” it said.

The public utility said its workers were striving to restore power supply.

The Met Department forecast more rainfall in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Malakand, Khyber, Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Mardan, Karak, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Bajaur, Mohmand, Kurram, Waziristan, Bannu, and Dera Ismail Khan districts today (Sunday).

It said the last 24 hours recorded 102mm of rainfall in Upper Dir, 85 in Saidu Sharif, 75 in Chitral, 61 in Lower Dir, 57 in Drosh, 53 in Peshawar, 41 in Pattan, 27 in Parachinar, 23 in Chirat, 16 in Takht Bhai, and 14 in Dera Ismail Khan.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2024

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