Disaster mismanagement: More human, property losses surface in rain aftermath

Three-day rain spell across Hazara division increases water table at Khanpur dam by 19 feet.

Our Correspondents February 07, 2013
The disaster management authority of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) had not released its statistics till this report was filed. PHOTO: INP


More fatalities were reported in the aftermath of heavy rainfalls across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the tribal areas which left hundreds of houses destroyed.

Locals reported nine more people dead, bringing the independent death toll for the province to nearly 45 with over 70 houses destroyed. However, according to statistics of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, 29 people died in the past two days.

The disaster management authority of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) had not released its statistics till this report was filed.

Early on Wednesday, the water level of Jindi River started rising on the outskirts of Charsadda and flooded around 35 houses in Khar Bela area. District administration officials said residents started moving to higher lands after the water rose to two feet above ground level.

When the water rescinded, the 35 houses were fully or partially destroyed. No loss of life was reported, but residents are demanding the government for financial assistance.

The deaths on Wednesday were reported in Batkhela, Khyber Agency and Mardan.

Water table rises in Khanpur reservoir

The three-day rain spell across the Hazara division increased the water table at Khanpur dam by 19 feet, official said.

Data gathered from sources suggest that the water level at the dam has increased from 1,935 ft to 1,954 ft as a result of rainfall.

Even though the downpour turned out to be deadly for some residents in Hazara, experts believe the accumulation of a sizeable amount of water in the reservoir will help the Water and Power Development Authority to overcome shortages.

“Now we are quite safe as the recent rain has improved the water storage situation in the dam besides raising the water table to a great extent,” said Khanpur Dam Executive Engineer Mr Asif Rauf

Speaking about the prospects of filling the reservoir to the maximum conservation level of 1,982 ft, he said there is a forecast for two more rain spells during the month. If they occur, the water level could touch the required level.

Shortages have often resulted in a drastic cut in water supplied to irrigation beneficiaries during the summer time.

Built in the early eighties, the Khanpur Dam was one of the few reservoirs of the country that has been fulfilling municipal as well as agriculture water needs of K-P and Punjab.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2013.


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