Balochistan schools closed as rain death toll surpasses 770 in Pakistan

The provincial government of Balochistan has announced the closure of all public and private schools for five days as death and destruction in the province continues, with torrential rains on Sunday claiming nine more lives in different districts of Balochistan.

The provincial education department in a notification said that all schools will remain closed from August 22 to August 26.

The notification comes after the Metrological department forecasted of more rains and flooding in the province. According to an advisory issued by NDMA, the Flood Forecasting Division has forecast moderate flash flooding in the rivers and nullahs of eastern Balochistan during the next 24 hours and subsequent heavy flooding.

Devastation caused by torrential rains

Heavy downpour in Quetta on Sunday resulted in urban flooding of several areas including Hazara Town, Pashtoonabad, Qadirand, NawanKilli, Aminabd, Sariab areas, and Killi Qambrani, where floodwater entered several houses.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 777 people across the country have lost their lives in rain-related incidents since the beginning of the season in mid-June, with Balochistan as the worst-affected province where 225 people have lost their lives so far.

Besides causalities, the underprivileged southwestern Pakistani province has also suffered significant infrastructure damage from ongoing rains and floods with over 550 schools damaged so far.

Karkhasa Dam breached at one point

Karkhasa Dam near Quetta was breached at one point due to hill torrents, flooding several areas near Western Bypass.

Quetta Commissioner Sohail ur Rehman Baloch said the dam’s spillways have been opened by the irrigation department after it was filled to maximum capacity.

Bilawal cancels tour of European countries

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was scheduled to visit Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in his maiden trip to Europe from August 22 till August 26 which is now canceled in view of countrywide damages by floods, the Pakistani foreign office said on Sunday.

“In view of calamities across Pakistan caused by the ongoing heavy monsoon rains and flooding, as well as heavy damages to lives and property, the Foreign Minister has postponed his official visits to Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway,” the Pakistan foreign office said in a statement.

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