At least eight people were killed and several others injured on Friday as heavy rains battered parts of Balochistan, washing away homes and causing widespread damage to property.
Troops were called out in Jhal Magsi by the civil administration after heavy rains and floods submerged 25 villages in the district. Life came to a virtual standstill in several other towns and cities of the province.
All communication between Jhal Magsi and the rest of Balochistan has been cut off as the main highway linking the district is under water, hampering the movement of vehicles. Talking to The Express Tribune Jhal Magsi Deputy Commissioner Tariq-ur-Rehman said, “We have imposed emergency in Jhal Magsi and directed people to migrate towards safe locations.”
The provincial chief secretary also ordered Pakistan Army to be on high alert in other districts.
According to sources, six members of a family, including four children and their mother and father, were killed when the roof of their house collapsed in Bela Jam Colony on Saturday. A woman was injured in a similar incident in Manjipur.
In Jhal Magsi, a resident of Goth Dildar Khan Akhwani, identified as Ali Murad, was swept away in flood water, while a teacher named Abdul Malik was killed in a similar accident in Loralai.
In Naseerabad, rains continued to pour for 15 hours, bringing more than half a million acres of crops under water, extensively damaging cotton and paddy crops.
Meanwhile in Loralai, at least 20 mud houses collapsed due to the flood water.
According to the Metrological Department, flood warnings were used in many districts of the province particularly in Sibi, Jhal Magsi, Naseerabad, Zhob, Kalat and Mekran divisions.
Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General Khalid Baloch has said that tents, food and rations have been provided to those affected by the floods.
“Some 1,200 tents in Jhal Magsi, 500 tents in Loralai and 100 tents in Sibi have been provided on an emergency basis, along with food items for iftar,” Khalid Baloch said while talking to The Express Tribune. He also announced that the PDMA had allocated Rs1 million each for the worst affected districts of eastern Balochistan, adding that life saving boats would also be dispatched to Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi for rescue operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.