Thursday Feb 2, 2023
Thursday Feb 2, 2023

Pakistan witnesses another day of deaths, devastation

2022 Aug 27, 21:44, Pakistan
Relief work by Provincial Disaster Management Authority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. (Photo Credit- ANI)

Meanwhile, Nowshera authorities renewed calls for evacuation as the Kabul River witnessed 'very high flood,' reported Dawn.

Nowshera Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mir Reza Ozgen renewed his call for the relocation of the district's residents to safer places as the flow in Kabul River rose above 300,000 cusecs, resulting in a "very high flood" in the water body.

According to Dawn, the flooding caused widespread devastation in the district, submerging several villages.

On Friday, the Kabul River and Swat River in KP experienced "very high floods" at several other locations, triggering evacuations by the authorities from low-lying areas and imposition of emergency in many districts.

Subsequently, calls were made for the evacuation of residents from Nowshera and Charsadda keeping in view the increased risk of flooding as water levels in the rivers rose and part of Munda headworks, which regulates the flow of the Swat River, collapsed.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority in KP issued a statement around the same time, saying that the water level in the river in Nowshera was recorded at 315,262 cusecs. It added that the river's water level in Virk had reached 130,364 cusecs.

A rain emergency remained in place in several areas of the province in the wake of unprecedented rains that pushed most of the country into a crisis.

At present, more than half of Pakistan is under water and millions of people have been rendered homeless as a result of flash flooding generated by abnormal monsoon rains which have entered their eighth spell with no signs of subsiding, reported Dawn.

According to the latest estimates, nearly 1,000 people, including 300 children, have lost their lives because of rains and resulting flooding that has impacted nearly 33 million people - almost 15 per cent of the country's population.

A day after a rain emergency was declared in Swat, the district's additional deputy commissioner, Abrar Wazir, said on Saturday that landslides and floods had claimed a total of 15 lives in different areas.

On Friday, 12 deaths in the district were linked to rains, floods and related incidents.

KP Secretary of Information and Public Relations Arshad Khan said that over 500,000 cusecs of water had flooded the province.

"The government has started rescue and relief efforts in all affected areas, while the work on the restoration of road infrastructure is going on an emergency basis," he told media persons in Swat.

Arshad also said that the helicopter used by KP CM had been deployed for the flood operations. "It will be used to rescue tourists stranded across the province and to provide food items to isolated areas."

The government has further sought more helicopters from the Pakistan Army, the official added.

According to the PDMA report today, the district administration has established 17 relief camps in the district where 2,230 people have been accommodated. Meanwhile, 180,000 residents have been moved to safer locations.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority tweeted that damages to optical fibre cables and power outages have been reported in Chitral, Upper Dir, Donbala, Swat, Medan, Lal Qila Simarbaghdir, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan, impacting connectivity services, reported Dawn.

Rain and floods have not spared Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) as well, the provincial disaster management authority's deputy director, Zaheeruddin Babar, told Dawn.

"In the last two months, 17 people have died and three injured in 110 incidents of rains and floods in the region," he said. "Yesterday, six people died after they were swept away by floods in Ghizer."

Babar revealed that among the people who died in the rains, 12 belonged to Ghazor, 3 hailed from Diamer and two from Hunza.

So far, he went on, 540 houses have been completely destroyed and 88 houses were partially damaged due to the floods during July and August. "53 bridges, 22 hydropower plants, 49 roads in different districts, 500 irrigation channels and 78 water tanks have been washed away," the deputy director said.

Meanwhile, GB Minister for Information Fateh Ullah said that the region had suffered financial losses amounting to Rs 10 billion.

In Sindh, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reached Sujawal on Saturday to visit flood-affected areas in the district, review relief work and also meet flood victims, reported Dawn.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, the PM said that the federal government had allocated a grant of Rs 38 billion to support each flood-affected family with disbursement of Rs 25,000.

Speaking to the flood-affected people, Shehbaz said he had already announced a grant of Rs 15 billion to Sindh province while the distribution of flood relief amount among each family had commenced in Sindh province after Balochistan under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

"Unfortunately, huge losses are being witnessed across the country, but with joint and continuous efforts, we will overcome the challenges faced in the wake of this natural catastrophe," he said, also expressing concern over the worsening flood situation in KP.

Meanwhile, Balochistan's misery, which has probably suffered the most in the aftermath of devastating monsoon rains this year, continues, reported Dawn.

Highways linking Balochistan with other provinces remained non-operational on Friday as relentless rains and floods did not allow authorities to repair the damaged arteries.

Another bridge on the Quetta-Sukkur road also suffered damage due to flooding in the Bolan River.

Telephone and internet services were disrupted in several parts of Balochistan due to damage caused by torrential rains. The services were partially restored in 10 districts of the province by Friday night.

The government decided to deploy the army in all provinces to help the civilian authorities in rescue operations in calamity-hit areas, reported Dawn.

A notification issued to this effect said the exact number of troops and areas of deployment would be worked out by respective provincial governments in consultation with the military operations directorate and General Headquarters.

"...The date of de-requisitioning of said deployment will be decided subsequently after mutual consultation among all stakeholders," the notification read.

Separately, the military's media affairs wing also said on Friday that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa would be visiting the flood-affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan today to review the situation there, reported Dawn.

Pakistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnesses Deaths Devastation three more people were killed Landslides floods Swat DC CoAS
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