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Sunday September 25, 2022

PM Shehbaz visits flood-stricken Balochistan, announces Rs1m each for families

Death toll following rains in the province has crossed 120

By Web Desk
July 31, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets with flood victims in Balochistan. — Twitter/@GovtofPakistan
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets with flood victims in Balochistan. — Twitter/@GovtofPakistan

QUETTA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday visited Balochistan to monitor the on-going relief work in the province, as it grapples with torrential rains claiming lives of over 120 people.

Heavy downpour in Balochistan have wreaked havoc, damaging property and claiming lives. Over 6,000 homes have been torn down completely, while more than 10,000 are said to be partially damaged.

In the wake of the destructive rains, PM Shehbaz on Thursday formed a committee comprised of federal ministers. The committee was directed to visit the areas affected by flooding and was also asked submit a report in the four days.

Speaking with journalists during the visit, PM Shehbaz announced a relief package. He said that families of those who have lost their members to the flood’s devastations would receive Rs1 million each; Rs50,000 were announced for people whose homes were destroyed, while owners of houses that suffered partial damage will be given Rs200,000.

The PM, however, did not share a timeline for disbursement of these funds.

“We have formed a committee to assess the losses of livestock and damage to the crops,” he said, adding that the committee will conduct surveys in liaison with the provinces and will stay in touch with the administration of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The premier also stated that the committee's meeting has been called in Islamabad on August 3. PM Shehbaz lamented that the rains have killed 124 in Balochistan, while Geo News has reported the loss of at least 125 lives.

The PM added that over 300 people have been lost their lives in rain-related incidents across the country.

PM's activities during visit

During the visit, the prime minister took an aerial view of flood-affected areas of Balochistan, while Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Aqaili briefed him about damages caused by heavy rains and floods.

PM Shehbaz was also briefed on ongoing relief activities in the affected areas. Later, the prime minister also visited Jhal Magsi and met flood-affected people in Shambani.

He directed the provision of medicines and the establishment of a relief camp beside the deployment of a veterinary doctor for the treatment of cattle in affected areas.

The prime minister also directed officials to expedite relief operations in all areas and provision of rations to people.

Earlier, the prime minister had also visited Jacobabad where he was briefed about relief activities in flood-affected areas.

Rescue operation by Navy underway

The Pakistan Navy is providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support to the people stranded in flash floods affected areas of Urki, Uthal, Lakhra, and other small isolated hutments of Lasbela District.

In a statement, the navy said that Commander Coast Rear Admiral Javed Iqbal, along with officials of the district administration, undertook an aerial visit of the flood-hit areas to review relief activities.

Pakistan Navy helicopters undertook multiple hops from Uthal to the affected areas to airdrop rations near people trapped in their homes.

"Airdrop of relief goods by helicopters has emerged as the most effective way of providing relief to people who could not be reached as road infrastructure has been wiped away by floods," the statement said.

During the operation by Pakistan Navy helicopters, a critically ill woman and five other people trapped in floods were rescued and evacuated to Uthal for medical treatment.

Apart from the navy, the provincial government, district administration, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Army, and Frontier Corps are also engaged in rescue and relief operations.

Sindh, KP announce support for victims of flooding

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah a day earlier telephoned Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Qudus Bizenjo and expressed solidarity with him in these distressing times, offering complete support.

During the call, CM Sindh offered every kind of support to his counterpart for the rehabilitation of the rain-affected people.

“We had sent 500 tents to Lasbela on Wednesday and dispatched 100 more tents to Uthal on Friday,” he said, adding that the Relief Department Sindh would coordinate with the concerned divisional commissioners in Balochistan for the dispatch of other relief items.

Seperately, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan Saturday announced a relief package for the flood affectees of Balochistan and directed the relevant authorities to ensure the provision of the announced package to flood-hit people within the next 24 hours.

As per special directives of the chief minister, 32 trucks of relief packages from the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be dispatched to the flood-hit people of Balochistan.

The relief package includes, 1,000 tents, 1,000 mattresses, 1,000 hygiene kits, 1,000 blankets, 1,000 quilts, 1,000 tarpaulin sheets, 1,000 mosquito nets, and 20 number of dewatering pumps.

Similarly, essential medicines and 1,000 food packages are also part of the relief package.

More rainfall predicted

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast more rains across the country, including Balochistan — which means that the people's misery will prolong and rescue works will be hampered.

The meteorological department forecast more rains in Khuzdar, Zhob, Barkhan, Kohlu, Musa Khel, Sherani, Sibbi and Bolan for the next 24 hours.