Three women and a minor were killed in Speen Qabar, Bara tehsil on Saturday as flood water washed away a passenger van.
According to a political administration official from Bara, the van was en route to Sipah when the incident occurred. Since there are no connecting bridges in the area, the vehicle was passing through a stream which had been overflowing due to heavy rain.
When the vehicle reached mid-stream, it was swept away by a wave of flood water. The driver of the vehicle swam his way out, while a woman and a minor were rescued by residents. Bodies of three other women and another minor were later found by the bank of the stream.
Water level in rivers across Gilgit – Baltistan (G-B) remained high, with no respite for people living along the river beds.
While water continued to enter houses in Chamogarh colony, the volume was lesser than that on Friday. Residents, however, still fear there may be a chance of flooding.
Gilgit River overflowed in several places from Baseen area to Gilgit city. Similarly the water level in rivers in Hunza Nagar, Baltistan and Astore also remained high.
Villagers in Dalnati village –where a day earlier flash floods swept away 12 houses and partially damaged 48 others – were displaced for the second day and remained confined to their tents.
“Some of the displaced have been accommodated temporarily in a government school building,” said Safdar Khan, a spokesperson from the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Gilgit office.
As the threat of floods still rages, the government has allocated Rs0.5 million to each deputy commissioner in the seven districts of G-B. “The amount would be used for relief in case of emergency,” said an official.
On the other hand, medium flood in Kabul River in Warsak and Nowshera was recorded by the Flood Forecasting Cell on Saturday.
The river water has inundated areas adjacent to the banks, especially in Charsadda and Nowshera. Flood water entered 250 houses in different villages including Jala Bela, Bela Mohmandan, Garhi Islamabad and Tapu Korona.
In most cases, however, the water level was low with only the low-lying areas inundated.
An official of the Met office said the rainfall on mountain ranges coupled with fast melting snow has increased the flow of water in the main rivers including Kabul, Swat and Panjkora.
“Due to the seasonal rain fall, nullahs are also filled with water and when they join the Kabul and Swat River it results in flooding,” said the official.
According to the Flood Cell, the flow of water in Kabul River at Nowshera was 155,100 cusecs, a partial decrease from 156,700 cusecs reported on Friday. There was a decrease of water level at Warsak to 93,000 cusecs from 103,960 cusecs a day earlier.
The Irrigation Department said a medium flood was recorded at Khwaza Khela with 21,987 cusecs. The report added the water discharge at Munda Headwork stood at 28,416 cusecs – an increase from Friday’s 28,000.
River Shah Alam was also in medium flood at Takhtabad where the water flow decreased to 7,439 cusecs from Friday’s 9,825 cusecs. An increase, however, was noted in River Indus at Khaiabad which discharged 212,000 cusecs of water on Friday and 291,800 cusecs on Saturday.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2013.