October 3, 2023

Five killed in rain-related incidents in KP, 68 houses in Azad Kashmir

Heavy rains play havoc in Balochistan

Punjab, KP PDMAs urge caution amid heavy rain forecast over next two days,

Lahore_Five including two children lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday. A four-year-old child drowned in the rainwater in Tarkai, the local people retrieved the body. On the other hand, two people drowned while bathing in the water coming out of Kundal Dam spillway in Swabi, the rescue teams pulled out the people and shifted them to the hospital but they could not survive.

Additionally, a girl died while a child was injured when the roof of a room collapsed in Landikotal Bazar, according to local sources. Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have issued alerts to all relevant departments in anticipation of heavy rains forecasted for today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) in various cities. In separate statements, the authorities have urged citizens to exercise special precautions during the anticipated heavy rains. The expected heavy rainfall may lead to urban flooding in different areas of Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshera, Dera Ismail Khan, and also pose a risk of landslides in hilly regions. Tourists visiting the region are also advised to take necessary precautionary measures and exercise extra caution during this period of forecasted heavy rains. In the event of an emergency, people are encouraged to contact the control room through the helpline number 1700 for prompt assistance.

Azad Kashmir State Disaster Management Authority on Friday released the details of loss caused by the heavy rains during last 24 hours, damaging 68 houses, . According to details, during the last 24 hours four houses in district Neelum partially damaged. In Haveli district, five houses were completely destroyed due to flash flood and landslide while 31 houses were partially destroyed. In district Poonch, 12 houses completely destroyed while 19 houses partially destroyed. In district Bagh, three houses completely destroyed while nine houses seriously damaged. Further in district Kotli one, Mirpur 8 and in Muzaffarabad 16 houses seriously damaged. The State Disaster Management Authority distributed essential products including camps, blankets and home used items like utensils etc among the affected families. Heavy rains have wreaked havoc in Balochistan,  Flashflood ravaged most parts of the province including Quetta while the authorities have sounded alarms, warning that the next 24 hours are crucial. Reportedly multiple roads, including a part of the Quetta-Sukkur N-65 Highway, remained blocked.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the Sibi-Quetta section on the Sukkur-Quetta N-65 Highway was blocked, cutting off Balochistan’s link to Sindh while roads linking Harnai to Sanjawi, Gandhawa to Notal, Sibi to Kohlu, Pinjra Bridge road in Bolan were also blocked due to flash floods. More than a hundred houses have been damaged completely and the authorities said rescue and relief activities were underway. So far, 11 rain-related deaths have been confirmed while standing crops and fields have been inundated. Kalat city and villages have been flooded while the danger has been looming large over Pashin, Awaran, Kharan and Panjgur. A sum of Rs150 million has been released for the administrations of 36 districts to cope with the challenges emerged after the heavy rains and flooding. A flood control centre at the CM Secretariat is monitoring the situation and the fund has been released on the instruction of the provincial chief minister. The control room would be used to monitor the relief and restoration activities, as well as the situation created due to “extraordinary torrential rains”, a statement said, adding that it would remain operational round the clock. As the provinces brace for potential challenges posed by the heavy rains, citizens are urged to remain vigilant, adhere to safety guidelines, and cooperate with the authorities to ensure their safety and the well-being of their communities. It said rain/wind-thundershowers (with few heavy falls) were expected in Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbella, Awaran, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Mastung, Sibbi, Naseerabad, Zhob, Sherani, Barkhan, Musakhel, Kohlu, Jhal Magsi, Loralai, Dera Ghazi khan, Rajanpur, Multan, Khanewal, Layyah, Kot Addu, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan from the night of July 27 to 28.

The PMD, in its press release, said heavy rains might generate flash floods in Balochistan and hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan on July 27 (night) and July 28. While the same weather was expected in Kashmir, Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Manshera, Abbottabad, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, including (Lai Nullah), from July 27 to 29. These heavy rains might cause urban flooding in low-lying areas of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad from the night of July 27 to 29. These might also trigger landslides in the vulnerable areas of Murree, Galliyat, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PMD advised that farmers should manage their activities accordingly. It further said tourists and travellers should remain extra cautious to avoid any untoward situation during the wet spell.  The weather department said people should avoid electric output, and wind-thunderstorm might damage loose structures like electric poles, solar panels etc. The PMD advised the general public to stay at safe places during wind-storm/lightning/heavy rains.

July records 73pc more rains than previous years

The PMD said 73 per cent more rains were recorded from July 1 to 26 which was extraordinary. The PMD said 89.1mm rains were recorded in the country compared to average rains measuring 51.5mm. Gilgit-Baltistan recorded 229 per cent more rains than average. Sindh recorded 176 per cent, Balochistan 114 per cent and Punjab witnessed 40 per cent more rain than average rains recorded in these areas during previous years.