Rains wreak havoc in Balochistan, death toll reaches 136

Violent rains and flash floods continued to lash Balochistan on Sunday as deaths from monsoon rains reached 136 while many roads and infrastructure were badly damaged. Rescue workers struggled to rescue the thousands who have been left out of place due to heavy flooding in over a dozen districts.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, various regions of Balochistan received heavy rains in the last 24 hours, including,  Kalat with 50mm of rain, Chaman with 26mm, Muslim Bagh with 10mm, 6mm in Sibi, Dalbadin with 3mm, Mustng 5mm, Barkhan 1mm and Khuzdar with 2mm.

Huge Loss of Lives and Property

  The following loss of lives and property has been reported by Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in the flood-based incidents since June 1:

  • over 100 people in the province have lost their lives
  • more than 6,000 houses have been damaged
  • 3,000 houses have been completely destroyed

Addressing a press conference on July 28, Chief Secretary Balochistan Abdul Aziz Uqaili said, “thousands of people have been injured and around 50,000 people have been affected. Besides, around 200,000 acres of land has also been affected.”

It is to be noted that these are only the reported statistics, and the actual numbers in the underreported areas in the peripheries are obviously higher, as evident by the circumstantial evidence shared by the natives.

Rescue and Relief Efforts

Meanwhile, flood relief efforts are in full blow in Balochistan with assistance from military rescuers.

“Troops are busy in rescue, relief efforts apart from providing medical care and opening up communication infrastructure,” the military’s media affairs wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The ISPR stated that all rivers were flowing normally, with the exception of “low flood in Indus River at Attock, Tarbela, Chashma, and Guddu”

“The highway has been repaired at eight points while one point still remains, and that’s causing delay in its complete restoration,” Deputy Commissioner Lasbela Iftikhar Bugti told media.

He further added that the National Highway officials were working on an alternative route, which, however, is not ready yet.

PM visits affected areas

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reached Quetta on a day-long visit on Monday to watch over the relief operations in flood-affected areas of Balochistan. He also interacted with the wretched locals of the province.

“During my visit here and to other camps, I have been told the people are not being provided food and water […]. People clearly said they were not getting any food and water and when I asked them how were they managing, they said they had to send someone back home to fetch food,” PM Shehbaz said while addressing the media during a visit to a tent city set up for flood-affected citizens in Qila Saifullah district.

“It is extremely unfortunate that these camps are without food and water,” he lamented.

Prime Minister also sought action against officials for their failure to provide people with food and water.

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