Flash floods triggered by lightening destroyed standing crops, hundreds of fruit trees, and a main water channel in Singul village of Ghizer valley, prompting terrified residents to vacate the area, officials and residents said on Wednesday.
Singul is about 60 kilometres from Gilgit and 30 kilometres short of Gahkuch, the headquarters of Ghizer district.
Officials however said no loss of life was reported in the floods that struck the village on Tuesday.
The incident couldn’t immediately be reported owing to poor communication in the area as a result of the destruction.
“The situation was terrible … it created panic in the village,” Maqsood, a resident of the area said on Wednesday. He said the floods had destroyed dozens of orchards, besides standing crops, within no time, dealing a death blow to the economy of the already poverty-ridden people.
A government official said the intensity of the flash flood was high but it caused no destruction to human life and the houses.
“The people have shifted to avoid a dangerous situation,” he said.
Residents said the village fell into darkness as the flood destroyed a large fraction of a channel supplying water to the area’s hydel power project.
As a result, power supply was also disrupted to the district headquarters hospital where patients were under treatment.
A similar incident in a village in Baltistan had demolished over 150 houses this week, forcing people to spend night under open sky.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2011.