PESHAWAR / GILGIT: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government on Monday said that persistent rains had greatly inconvenienced flood victims and disrupted relief efforts.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the new spell of rains killed at least 31 people and injured 48 others. Unverified reports put the death toll at 50.
He said that at least 14 people had been killed in Malakand, two each in Bannu and Lakki Marwat, 12 in Dera Ismail Khan, six in Tank, 11 in Kohat and three in the North Waziristan Agency.
Mian Iftikhar said that at least 594,000 families had so far been affected by the devastating floods in the province, which translates to approximately 4.2 million people. He said that rains and floods have killed at least 965 people, injured 887and rendered 880, 620 persons homeless.
Floods, he said, had affected at least 567 villages, completely destroying 103,283 houses, adding that 67,645 housing units had been partially damaged.
Iftikhar put the number of destroyed shops at 496, while 283 roads and 258 bridges, 472 educational institutions, 133 health centers and 751 irrigation centers had also been destroyed during the floods.
He said that rains had disrupted communication links in Kohistan district, adding that the Bisham-Dasu section of the Karakoram Highway had been blocked. “All link roads are closed.”
He said despite rains and suspension of helicopter services, relief efforts in Swat were still underway, adding that absence of electricity and suspension of water supply were creating a bigger problem for the people.
Meanwhile, Home Secretary Asif Lodhi said that floods had caused losses amounting to Rs5 billion in Gilgit-Baltistan . According to sources, the death toll over the past two days had exceeded 65. Floods, they said, during that period had wrecked water channels, roads, houses, and bridges across this mountainous region. Lodhi said that Babusar-Kaghan road had been opened for small vehicles, and 100 vehicles laden with food and fuel had been requested.
Flash floods caused by heavy rains caused a breach in a dam in Lasbela district, submerging at least 10 villages on Monday.
The delay action dam at Bamari collapsed following heavy rains in the region, damaging a portion of the Quetta-Karachi portion of the RCD Highway.
Rail link between Quetta and other parts of the country was also disrupted because of the flash floods in areas between Shikarpur and Jacobabad. All Quetta-bound trains were stopped at Rohri Station, an official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2010.
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