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9 killed in Gilgit, Bannu floods

July 29, 2006

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GILGIT, July 28: At least nine people were killed and several others injured as lightning, rain and flood played havoc with parts of Gilgit and Bannu on Friday. Six worshippers were killed and a woman went missing in the Gitch village, 40kms west of Gilgit.

Police said the villagers were offering the morning prayers in their Jamaatkhana when floodwater hit the building and swept them away. Six people were killed and two others were rescued injured.

The floodwater washed away the Gilgit-Ghizer Road, suspending traffic to upper parts of Ghizer and Chitral.

The dead were identified as Deedar Shah, Hurmat Ali Shah, Ms Badani, Ms Said Nooh, Isman Shah and Arif. Ms Khushani was reported missing.

A couple was injured when the gushing water entered their house. They were Hafas Khan and his wife Sahar.

The flood has destroyed a long section of the Karakoram Highway between Jutal and Guru. Mudslides caused by heavy rain have rendered the road between Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar and China closed for two days.

The Frontier Works Organisation said equipment had been sent to remove earth in affected areas.

MUZFFARABAD: Heavy rains continued to lash the northern parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir overnight Thursday, sweeping away shelters in several villages, an official said.

SP Zahoor Gillani said a landslide triggered by the rain had engulfed four houses, six shops and the local graveyard in the village of Nardajyan, some 60km south of here.

He said the inmates had already vacated those houses.

In the Lamnian village, 64km southeast of here, eight shops were swept away by water from a flooded channel. “A woman fell in the channel but was rescued,” he said.

Around 12 temporary shelters in the nearby Jandala village were also flattened.

The SP said that Jhelum Valley Road remained closed on the second consecutive day after the showers had caused further landslides.

The Neelum Valley Road winding through the mountainous region in northeast of Muzaffarabad is blocked for traffic for more than a week, with long patches having been wiped out by rains. The closure is threatening the lives of thousands of people living in upstream areas, including Lachrat region and valleys of Kutla and Neelum.

On Thursday, a woman was killed when a rock from the mountainside hit her on the head on Neelum Valley Road.

Agencies add: Three people were killed and as many injured when their house caved in owing to heavy rain in the Mawardi Khel village of Bannu district.

The dead were identified as Gul Khan, Sapari Jana and Ms Badshazada.

Union Council Bazar Ahmed Nazim Haji Mateen Khan said that Bilalabad, Gandali Kotka and Sokari areas had been the worst affected.

Meanwhile, the Met office on Friday said a weather system was developing over North Rajasthan in India which was likely to cause rain in various parts of Sindh and Balochistan during the next three days.