Thursday, 23 July 2015

Flood destroys hundreds of villages; 13 more killed

At least 13 more people have died as heavy floods swept away hundreds of villages in parts of the country, destroying almost everything in their path.

According to reports, as many as six bodies were recovered while six others went missing after a flash flood stream swept away two vehicles and an auto rickshaw in Lasbella, Hub, the industrial town of Balochistan.

The flash floods swept away two vehicles of pilgrims going to the tomb of Shah Noorani. The rescue teams reached the site soon after being informed and recovered six bodies.

It may be mentioned here that the recent torrential rains have caused havoc in Zhob district of Balochistan, inflicting huge losses on livestock and disrupting the communication system.

Standing crops and around 370 livestock have been washed away since the torrential rains began. The townships affected by rains and subsequent streams of rainwater include Taki, Wela, Bring, Omza, Naerazai, Mir Alikhel, Khowsti, Marghazai, Maloor, Torkhala, Deragara Babar, Datozai, Bobai and Irabzai.

Zhob District Chairman Qazi Ahmed Khosti told reporters said the current torrential streams have caused losses worth millions of rupees, and appealed to prime minister, chief minister and the provincial disaster management authority to respond to the disaster quickly so that further losses can be averted.

At least 170 more villages of Kot Adu, Ali Pur and Kandhkot areas have been washed away in floods, while victims continue to shift to safer places. Moreover, moderate level flood in Ravi River has been reported. Separately, Mozah Ahmed Bhagyala in Harappa has completely been inundated.

Flood in Sindh River has resulted in inundation of hundreds of adjoining villages.

According to details, dozens of villages in Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Kahror Laal Hussain and Kot Mithan have been inundated. As many as 70 villages of Ghotki have lost land connections to other parts.

Levees have collapsed in Dera Ghazi Khan, while the authorities have opened spillways of Tarbela Dam.

At least 450,000 cusecs of water is passing through Sindh River at Muzaffargarh point.

The authorities have shut down more than 200 canals due to flood in Head Taunsa. These canals include Muzaffargarh Canal, Dera Ghazi Khan Canal and TP Link.

To add to the tragedy, boats owners are charging at least Rs 1,000 per person to shift families to safer places.

According to a report by the National Disaster Management Authority, this season’s floods have so far caused three deaths in Chitral, while three people have lost their lives in Punjab’s Muzaffargarh district. A further three were killed in the Balochistan district of Zhob, the report added.

The flood has also washed away as many as 180 buildings including houses, shops and hotels in Chitral while damaging another 15 bridges and 12 roads, the agency said.

Over in Gilgit-Baltistan, rescue and relief operations continued on Wednesday in Skardu and Ghanche after heavy rain and land sliding.

District Ghanche was the most affected area where about 11 villages were damaged.

Provincial Minister for Education Haji Muhammad Ibrahim is supervising the relief work besides monitoring the rehabilitation work in the affected areas. He said that effective measurers were being taken to restore bridges, power, irrigation channels in all part of the district.

Also, the Rajanpur district administration has set up 32 relief camps while Rescue 1122 shifted 1,300 people to safer places as medium-level flood situation persisted in the mighty Indus River.

Rajanpur DCO Zahoor Hussain visited the flood-affected areas and ordered the rescue teams to continue relief and rescue operations in the district.

The DCO said that the army had not been called in so far to assist the administration, as the Indus River was still experiencing medium-level flood.

He, however, added that help from Pakistan Army would be sought in case the flood level rises above 500,000 cusecs.

Dozens of teams of rescuers were busy in rescuing people from low-lying areas in Rajanpur district at six different points. Water flow from hill torrents was decreasing gradually. No casualty has so far been reported in the wake of the ongoing flood situation and land links among different areas in Rajanpur district were intact.

Thursday 23 July 2015


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