• Highway connecting border town with Quetta still closed for traffic
• Met Office predicts more downpour

QUETTA: The road link to many areas of Balochistan couldn’t be restored till Friday as rains and thunderstorms continued in different areas of northern and southern Balochistan during the last 24 hours.

The border district of Chaman continued to witness disaster as flash floods entered the town from Khozak and other mountain ranges.

The deluge also damaged the Quetta-Chaman highway, cutting off traffic between the two cities.

Trucks carrying Afghan Transit Trade goods were stuck near Qila Abdullah and Chaman, and they are waiting for the road to be cleared.

Officials in Chaman said Levies and other forces had reached the people stranded in hilly areas and “are making all-out efforts” to restore traffic on the highway.

They added that the bodies of a woman and a child were recovered from a seasonal stream.

They died after the vehicle they were travelling in was swept away in flash floods as the driver tried to cross a gushing seasonal stream.

“The bodies were handed over to the family,” the official added.

The provincial capital, Quetta, didn’t receive any rainfall during the last 12 hours , but overnight heavy rain damaged mud houses on the city’s outskirts.

Water was yet to be drained from some areas of the city as drains failed to evacuate the water due to blockages.

Some parts of the Makran region were still cut off from Karachi as a key bridge in the Basool area of Ormara, on the Makran Coastal Highway, had been washed away by flash floods.

All traffic has been suspended as an alternative route was yet to be constructed.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said a team headed by its chairman, Aurangzeb Khan, visited Daak and Mal in Noshki district, which were badly affected by the downpour.

Hundreds of people who were rendered homeless during the inclement weather were given tents, food and drinking water, the PDMA said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Centre of Balochistan has advised the authorities to remain vigilant during the next 48 hours.

It has forecast more rain with thunderstorm in Quetta, Ziarat, Chaman, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Mastung, Sherani, Zhob, Musakhail Barkhan, Khuzdar, Kalat, Noshki, Sibi, Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Loralai and Harnai in next 24 hours.

During the last 24 hours, the weather remained cloudy and it rained in most parts of the province.

The highest rainfall was recorded in Samungli at 25mm, Kalat 23mm, Dalbandin 21mm, Barkhan 16mm, Zhob13 mm and Panjgur 5mm.

More than 20 people have died and 15 injured due to roof collapses, lightning strikes and other mishaps since heavy rain and thunderstorms started in the province last week.

The situation is grim in Chaman, where a large number of mud houses were swept away by flash floods on Thursday triggered by heavy rainfall on surrounding mountains, Deputy Commissioner Atha Abbas Raja had 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.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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