Flashfloods triggered by heavy rain swept away houses, standing crops and trees in Ghizer and Diamer valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan over the past two days.
A landslide damaged portions of Karakoram Highway (KKH) near Tattoo, Khunar and Hudur areas early Friday, briefly suspending traffic between Rawalpindi and G-B. Reports also indicated damage to several other unpaved roads.
Residents of Chilas said the flashfloods damaged infrastructure and crops, disturbing routine life. “Fortunately, there was no loss of life even though it rained cats and dogs,” said Manzoor Ahmad, a local.
In Gahkuch area of Ghizer district, water entered houses, forcing people to stay outdoors. A seminary was also swamped by the floodwater.
In Famani village, a major portion of the road was swept away by the floodwater. Similarly, boulders damaged the Ghizer-Gilgit Road, suspending traffic on the thoroughfare.
An executive engineer in the public works department, Farman Ali, said bulldozers were later used to clear the affected roads.
This is the second such episode of inclement weather in Diamer district this month. Flashfloods earlier left more than 50 families homeless in Darel Valley. However, those affected have yet to be contacted by the government or NGOs for relief activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.
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