QUETTA: Torrential rains and flash floods continued to play havoc in different parts of the country, especially in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on Sunday, claiming the lives of eight more people and damaging roads and infrastructure.
Two people lost their lives in Balochistan, taking the death toll from flood- and rain-related accidents in the province to 130. Another four bodies were found stuck in the gates of Sukkur Barrage, taking the toll over the last one week to 27, according to police.
Two girls died in Punjab when the roof of their house collapsed due to heavy rain.
The situation in Balochistan’s Lasbela district, which has faced the worst flooding so far, slightly improved on Sunday, leading to the restoration of traffic on the Quetta-Karachi highway after almost a week. The highway was badly damaged after collapse of three bridges.
Officials said over twenty people, including women and children, were pulled to safety by the administration in the Oraki area of Lasbela district with assistance from the Pakistan Army and the Navy. “We have shifted these people to a safe place after rescuing them from floodwaters,” Rohana Kakar, the additional deputy commissioner of Lasbela, said.
Death toll in Balochistan rises to 130; four more bodies retrieved from Sukkur Barrage gates; flood victims complain about non-provision of aid
The officials said the body of a missing man, who was swept away in flash floods two days ago near Noshki, was found on Sunday. He was identified as Mirza Khan. Another body of a child was recovered from floodwaters near Zhob area.
A large number of houses collapsed due to heavy rains in Zhob district, rendering families homeless.
The flood situation in Awaran has worsened as the entire district remained cut off from other parts of Balochistan for the last four days due to collapse of bridges and washing away of roads.
Sources said monsoon rains and hill torrents had caused huge losses of property in Awaran, Mashkay and Gajjar areas as hundreds of mud-houses were destroyed. A large number of families became homeless.
The people of Awaran said the district needed immediate rescue and relief operations. Officials said a rescue operation had been launched and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) was sending relief goods to the area.
Meanwhile, a large number of flood victims blocked the RCD Highway in Ahmedwall to protest the attitude of the administration. The protesters chanted slogans demanding relief and rehabilitation assistance. They complained that no one from the district administration or public representatives visited their disaster-struck area.
In Sindh, officials said they had spotted four more bodies stuck at the gates of Sukkur Barrage on Sunday and informed police, who retrieved them. On July 30, five bodies were taken out of the barrage and shifted to Sukkur Civil Hospital for medico-legal formalities, said police officials.
The officials said they had so far retrieved 27 bodies, including nine of women’s, and handed them over to Edhi Centre for burial.
In Punjab, two little sisters died in Okara when the roof of their house collapsed after a spell of heavy rain.
Displaced people in Taunsa and Dera Ghazi Khan are fighting for survival amid ravages of hill torrents and flood. With the water level in Chenab rising, people were asked to move to higher locations in Jhang, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur districts.
Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi announced financial assistance for the flood victims of Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and Mianwali. He said the government would disburse financial aid amounting to Rs800,000 each to the heirs of the deceased.
Saleem Shahid in Quetta, Ghulam Mursaleen in Lakki Marwat, Wasim Shamsi in Sukkur and Ali Raza Rind in Chagai also contributed to this report
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, heavy rains wreaked havoc in parts of Lakki Marwat district on Sunday as floodwaters inundated low-lying areas. Rains lashed Lakki town and rural areas for nearly one hour, damaging properties.
Reports suggested several urban and rural localities experienced flooding after an hour-long spell of rain.
The torrential rains triggered flash floods in Chunai and Garaban watercourses. Torrents passed through several villages before reaching Lakki town and falling into Gambila river.
In Mela Mandrakhel, rainwaters inundated houses and flooded streets and lanes.
The calamity disrupted the road link to Mela Mandrakhel, Zangikhel and other rural areas as a temporarily-repaired damaged portion of the rural road was washed away by floods.
Flash floods also washed away animals and household articles in several places. Extensive damage was caused to farms as well as the road infrastructure.
A portion of Begukhel road was damaged near Mastikhel, disconnecting dozens of rural localities from Lakki town.