GWADAR: Fishermen gather under a broken structure on the shore along a badly damaged road, as boats are stacked near the jetty following heavy rainfall in Balochistan, on Thursday.—AFP
GWADAR: Fishermen gather under a broken structure on the shore along a badly damaged road, as boats are stacked near the jetty following heavy rainfall in Balochistan, on Thursday.—AFP

QUETTA: Seven more people have been killed in accidents in Balochistan as heavy rains continue to inflict damages across the province.

So far, 17 people have died and 15 injured due to roof collapses, lightning strikes and other mishaps since heavy rain and thunderstorms started last week.

Separately, eight people were killed in two accidents as rainfall continued in several areas of Azad Kashmir.

The seven new deaths in Balochistan were reported from the border town of Chaman on Thursday.

According to Chaman Deputy Commissioner Athar Abbas Raja, the victims, including four women and two children, were travelling in a car which was swept away by a flash flood.

Family washed away in Balochistan border town; dozens stranded by urban flooding

A large number of mud houses have also been swept away by flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall on surrounding mountains, Mr Abbas told Dawn over the phone.

He said gushing water has also badly damaged roads, cutting Chaman off from other areas of Balochistan and suspending transit trade with Afghanistan.

A railway track was also affected, suspending the train service between Quetta and Chaman. Damage to another track at the Spintangi area in the Sibi-Harnai section has also suspended rail service between Sibi and Harnai.

The northeastern district of Harnai, which has been receiving heavy rain with thunderstorms for the last many days, has been cut off from Quetta and other areas as link roads were washed away by flash floods.

The link of Makran division with Karachi was also cut off after a bridge on the coastal highway between Ormara and Basool collapsed.

A small dam in Chaman burst as it received excessive rainwater during a downpour which started early Thursday morning and lasted for several hours.

Officials said that Pado Dam on the outskirts of border town was washed away, causing massive destruction in old and new Chaman.

The water entered human settlements and damaged houses, forcing the residents to flee to take refuge at safer places.

Flash floods also swept away eight cars parked in a showroom at Chaman Bypass, a senior official of Levies force said.

He added that life had been virtually suspended in Chaman as all roads were inundated due to urban flooding.

Roghani Road, Killi Roozudin, Killi Salehzai and other areas were badly affected with dozens of houses damaged.

Officials said personnel of Frontier Corps, Levies and local administration had launched rescue operations in the affected areas and were shifting stranded families.

Similar destruction of houses and roads was also reported in other areas as heavy rains continued in Ormara, Pasni, Jewani, Ziarat, Loralai, Musa­khail, Barkhan, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Sibi, Bolan, Noshki, Dalbandin, Washuk, Panjgur and areas bordering Iran and Afghanistan.

Eight killed in accidents

At least seven people were killed and 14 injured when a careened off a slippery road near Moiyan Khakheyan in AJK during heavy rain on Thursday, police and rescuers said.

The coach was travelling to the mountainous Kai Manja village from Garhi Dupatta when it met with the accident around 6pm, some nine kilometres away from its last destination, according to Muzaffarabad SSP Yaseen Baig.

The vehicle was overloaded when it veered off the narrow and slippery road amid downpour, the SSP said, adding that the vehicle fell hundreds of feet down into a ravine.

Four of the passengers died on the spot, while the rest were critically injured and moved to a hospital.

Two more victims succumbed to their wounds during the treatment, SSP Baig said, adding that two of the injured were still in critical condition.

One of the victims was living in a shack which the bus hit while plunging down, a rescuer told Dawn.

He said tiny hut was completely destroyed, leaving one of its occupants dead and others injured.

In a separate accident, a landslide along the Muzaffarabad-Mansehra road claimed one life on Thursday, triggering protest from drivers and locals for the construction of a tunnel.

Saddar Police SHO Manzar Chughtai told Dawn that a mini-truck, loaded with vegetables, fell off the road after being caught in the landslide at around 1:30am.

The truck driver, Mohammad Raqeeb, 32, died on the spot.

Tariq Naqash in Muzaffar­abad also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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