PESHAWAR: As many as eight people, including women and children, have died over the past few days in the province owing to heavy rains and flash floods.
To make matters worse, the Pakistan Metrological Department in its weather advisory has forecast more rains and thunderstorm with gusty over the next 24 hours across the Hazara and Malakand Divisions.
As per the initial damage report prepared by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), four people, including two women and two children, were killed in Lower Dir when they were swept away in a storm drain in the Takhti Farmany village in Lal Qila Tehsil on Saturday due to flooding. Similarly, eight-year-old Haseema was killed when the roof of her house caved in due to heavy rains on Saturday. Separately, three female students studying in the seventh grade drowned in a pond on Sunday in the Garamchashma area of Chitral.
Moreover, flash floods in Jingertekoh valley of Chitral damaged a road in Drosh. The Communication and Works Department has dispatched the requisite machinery to repair the roads and restore the link. The PDMA added that torrential rains had also damaged over two dozen houses in Kohat, Peshawar, Lakki Marwat and Bunner over the weekend. In wake of the damage wrought by the rains, K-P Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retired) Dost Muhammad Khan has announced a relief package for the victims.
Justice Dost further directed to collect complete data of the loss to both, lives and property, in order to fast-track the rehabilitation process in the affected areas of the province and to provide compensation.
Relief and rehabilitation should start immediately, the interim chief minister directed, adding that the immediate aim should be to provide early relief to the affected people. Meanwhile, PDMA Spokesperson Taimur Ali said that their staff deputed in different districts of the province are on alert to provide prompt relief to the public in case of need.
“We are using all of our resources to provide prompt relief to public and district administration along with other relevant departments are conduct relief operations in the affected areas,” Ali said, adding that according to their preliminary reports, around 50 houses were partially damaged in district Lakki Marwat.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2018.