Balochistan floods: 40 mud houses collapse in Kalat

Stranded by flash floods, 350 Hindu pilgrims rescued from Nani Hinglaj hills.

Express September 06, 2011


At least 40 mud houses collapsed in Kalat district, about 145 kilometres south of Quetta, as heavy rains continued to lash the area early Monday morning.

Flash floods, triggered by rains, swept through Dasht Mugalzai town in Kalat after breaching bunds onto agriculture land. Land spread over thousands of acres was destroyed and standing crops were extensively damaged. The communication system was also disrupted.

More than 40 families have been rendered homeless in Kalat and are forced to live under the open sky without any relief supplies.

“At least 40 houses collapsed in Dasht Mulgazai alone, while mud houses in Chasma, Ghom and Shesha were partially damaged. The devastation also extended to Mullahkhail which had already been inundated four days ago,” local residents told The Express Tribune.

Locals complained that they are currently living without any food, shelter or relief goods. “The government dispatched three trucks carrying food and tents three days ago. People are forced to take shelter at the residences of their relatives,” said flood victim Mohammad Anwar, adding that locals are moving to higher ground in nearby hills to escape the floods.

Another flood victim, Ibrahim, said that relief operations have not been launched at the required scale, which, he said, should have been carried out the very first day of the rains.

Power supply to the affected areas has also been suspended since Sunday afternoon.

When contacted, officials said that they have no access to the affected towns in Kalat as the roads have been washed away. Sources said that the water level of two dams in Kalat is rapidly increasing, posing a serious threat to nearby localities. “If precautionary measures are not adopted, more towns and standing crops will be destroyed,” they added.

Hindu pilgrims rescued

About 350 Hindu pilgrims were rescued on Monday from the Nani Hinglaj hills, 250 kilometres north-west of Karachi, after being stranded for six days due to flash floods.

The pilgrims, who hail from Hub, Lasbela and Karachi, had gone to the Hinglaj shrine, at the bank of Hingol River near Makran, to perform a religious ritual.

(Additional input from APP)

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.


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