Natural calamity: Recurring floods in Chitral make relief work difficult

One killed, several injured after vehicle plummets into raging waters in Dashqar

Our Correspondents July 31, 2015
A family crosses a damaged flood road. PHOTO: INP


A man was killed and four people were injured when their vehicle went off track and into raging flood waters Friday afternoon, according to local sources.

The vehicle lost control on the damaged roads of Dashqar in Chitral. Four passengers were rescued and were taken with the body to a nearby hospital. Their identities could be ascertained by the time this report was filed.

Heavy rain and flash floods in Chitral have damaged more houses and infrastructure, leaving residents and aid workers in a quandary.

A fresh spate of floods struck Torkaho area of Chitral Friday afternoon, damaging a number of houses and building. However, no loss of life was reported. Relief efforts in the area were affected by a landslide. Later in the evening, Maroy was hit by flood. As a result, Boni-Chitral Road was blocked.

By 8:30pm on Friday, Barnas and Maroye were hit by heavy floods. Water levels were rising and the government had informed people through sirens and loudspeakers to evacuate the area.

Cut off

The natural disaster in Chitral has destroyed many lives over the last few weeks as livestock was killed, and houses and other infrastructure destroyed. However, only a handful of relief teams have managed to reach the area as most of the connective routes remain inaccessible.

In the last few days, over 30 houses were swept away in the recent spell of floods while 28 others were partially damaged in Jhaitor in Garam Chashma area of Chitral. Debris remains scattered over a wide area.

Jhaitor is situated near the Pak-Afghan border. It was among the first places to be ravaged by the flash floods which repeatedly hit Chitral since mid-July.

Many residents took matters into their own hands and were trying to provide relief to those who have been badly affected by the calamity. According to locals, the floods deprived them of their valuables and have left them in the lurch.

The missing link

A bridge which links Peshawar to Karachi in DI Khan was swept away by floods on Friday.

Earlier in the day, heavy rain was reported in DI Khan. Water accumulated on the streets and washed away a bridge linking Peshawar and Karachi through Khad Bazdar area of DI Khan district. The bridge, which had been constructed along the Indus Highway, had been in a dilapidated condition for a long time.

DI Khan district administration urged people to use the route from Bhakkar district of Punjab to travel between Peshawar and Karachi.

Infrastructural damage

At least 150 houses and two link bridges were damaged in FR DI Khan on Friday evening.

According to details, the water flowed down from Koh-e-Suleman mountain and hit Mughal Kot, Parwara and Domanda areas.

Officials of the political administration managed to rescue 10 truck drivers and five other passengers trapped in the flood in these areas.

FR DI Khan Assistant Political Agent Samiullah Khan confirmed the losses, saying they would conduct a survey to estimate the level of damage in the area. “A report will then be submitted to the relevant authorities,” he added.

The political administration has assured they will start rehabilitation work once the flooding stops.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2015. 


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