Balochistan continued to suffer the wrath of floods triggered by the late monsoon surge on Wednesday with two children killed and 10 people including women and children injured in two separate incidents of roof collapse in Sibi.
According to reports, two children were killed and two others wounded when the roof of their house in the Landi Khosa area of Sibi caved in following torrential rains in the district. The deceased and injured were shifted to a local hospital.
In another incident, eight people, including women and children were injured when the roof of their house collapsed in the Hamidabad area of Jaffarabad district.
Separately, over 30 bodies, including those of four security personnel, were reportedly recovered from different areas of Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts, while over 300 people were still missing. Official sources, however, did not confirm the casualties or the missing persons.
A local journalist told The Express Tribune the floods had stranded hundreds of people as no rescue team was able to reach them. “People who have left their homes and belongings and taken refuge on higher ground are in a miserable condition. They have complained of getting no relief from the government despite a lapse of two days,” he said, adding that the dearth of potable water, food and medicines was worsening their plight.
Dozens of villages inundated
Reports emanating from Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts, where heavy rains and severe flooding have already wreaked considerable damage, said the breaches developed in Pat Feeder Canal could not be repaired for a second consecutive day.
As a result, dozens of low-lying villages were submerged in floodwater, forcing people to flee towards safer locations. The communications systems of the districts have not been restored yet either.
Owing to the breaches in the canal, Goth Shaki Sikandar Khan, Janda Talab, Goth Aftab Khan, Goth Azar Khan, Goth Ghulam Qadir, Goth Abdul Majeed Khosa and dozens of other villages are also affected.
Sources said that personnel of the Pakistan Army had started shifting the affected people to safer places via boats and were providing them with basic provisions. Captain (retd) Akbar Hussain Durrani, the supervisor of the Flood Relief Cell in the province, said 11 districts of Balochistan were severely affected. He said the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had already taken measures to meet any challenges since the Met Office had predicted heavy rains. “The rescue operation is underway and the main task is to provide food to the victims,” Durrani said, adding that all district officers were provided Rs500,000 to establish free medical camps in the districts, besides medical camps already set up by the Frontier Corps and the army.
Durrani said six helicopters were taking part in the rescue operation and 4,200 blankets, 3,200 tents, 395 bags of sugar, tea, rice and other edibles had been distributed.
He said the provincial government had not contacted local and foreign NGOs in the province for assistance so far, reiterating a final decision in this regard would be made after further assessing the situation.
Meanwhile, the death toll of rain-related mishaps in Sindh has crossed 100, with 18 more fatalities reported on Wednesday.
Torrents coming downhill from Balochistan have wreaked chaos on ten union councils in the Taluka Thull area of Jacobabad. At least 18 people, including women and children are reported to have died. Another 78 were reportedly injured in the record-breaking downpours. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT IN SUKKUR)
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.