Torrential rainfall: Displacement feared as water rises to alarming levels

Central districts of Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera could be most affected.

A child sells his wares in Qissa Khwani Bazaar during the rain. Heavy rain spells have caused water levels in major K-P rivers to rise which may trigger floods in central districts. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS


The current spell of rainfall may result in vast damages and mass displacement is feared in the central districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

Central districts, including Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera were worst hit by the 2010 floods, which caused widespread loss of lives, livestock and property.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesperson Latifur Rahman said the water level in Budni Nulla—located on Peshawar northern spheres—will be gradually increasing up to 30,000 cusecs due to the rain. “Therefore, precautionary measures need to be taken to avoid any loss of public or private property,” he said.

He said there is a high flood of 50,000 cusecs in Chitral River. “It is expected that this discharge of water will reach the Warsak Dam in Peshawar’s suburbs at about 10pm on Friday.” About 80,000 to 110,000 cusecs of water will hit Nowshera early Saturday, he added.

In response to a question, Latif said the PDMA has informed the deputy commissioners (DCs) of Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda about the situation and the DCs are taking precautionary measures. “The DCs are on alert.”

The district disaster management officers of the troubled areas have been directed to keep a close watch and observe the situation and alert people living on river banks to leave their houses when a warning is issued to them. People must be ready and prepare for displacement.

Following the flooding in Budhni stream, Peshawar Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Anis issued orders directing people living along the streams and canals to shift to safer places due to the possibility of a major flood. The commissioner also announced emergency after the Regi and Hayatabad streams flooded. He issued directives to all relevant departments to prepare for a flood-like situation.

There are several villages in Charsadda, but those in Nowshera face a greater threat because most of the people are settled near the Kabul River and around water channels in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.

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