KARAK/ SWABI/ PESHAWAR: At least five people were killed and two were injured in a single roof collapse incident in Karak, while crops and livestock were swept away in Swabi due to heavy rains and flash floods.
The meteorological department has predicted more rains in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa over the next few days and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) issued flash flood warnings.
Three children were among the five dead in Bahadur Khel, Karak district. Officials said the roof of a house in Anar Banda caved in during the early hours of Friday. Locals rushed to the site and removed the debris to rescue the victims. Two of the injured, both children, were rushed to a local hospital where their condition is said to be stable.
Devastation in Swabi
A heavy spell of rain which lasted more than three hours caused widespread damage to crops and demolished the outer walls of several buildings. Food items from several shops were swept away, but worst affected were animals which were claimed by the flash floods.
Residents from Colonel Sher Khan Kalay, Adeena, Kalo Khan, Saleem Khan, Shewa, Parmoli, and Sher Darra had to take to the roofs of their houses after water flooded in.
The district’s tobacco and maize crop was also severely damaged. The DC assessed the losses and said the government would try to compensate.
Residents of the area protested against the building of the Sher Khan Cadet College, saying the route for floodwater to disperse had been blocked by the construction. They demanded an alternative passage for water to flow out before the next spell of intense rains.
Possibility of flash floods
As the monsoon continues to affect K-P and its surrounding tribal belt, PDMA has issued a flash flood warning for the next few days.
Based on the weather reports provided by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) office in Peshawar, the PDMA alerted office bearers and district administrations in the Hazara division, DI Khan, Bannu and Karak. The PDMA warned authorities to be ready for any possible emergency situation and to provide timely relief to the public. PMD Regional Director Mushtaq Shah said heavy rainfall was expected on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday due to which stream levels are expected to rise and turn into flash floods.
The expected intensity of rain in these areas and the nearby tribal areas of North Waziristan, Kurram and Orakzai agencies is high, while the downpour is predicted to be moderate in Mardan, Charsadda and Peshawar.
PDMA Spokesperson Latifur Rehman told The Express Tribune the Met office predicted heavy rain with gusty winds in these areas on Saturday and Sunday. “The PDMA control room is in contact with all its district offices and district administrations,” he said.
Condition of rivers
The K-P irrigation department informed the PDMA that rivers, including River Kabul and Kalpani Nullah, were flowing at medium levels, while the Indus River, Panjkora, Swat, Khiali and Adezai were flowing at normal levels.
Shah said 50 to 60mm of rainfall could raise the flow of rivers from low to medium levels. However, with the current spell of rain, weather watchdogs are expecting a high-level flow.
The Met department recorded 38mm rainfall in Balakot, 26mm in Kakul, 17mm in Kohat, 16mm in Timergara and 11 mm in Malam Jabba.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.