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Friday May 24, 2024

Rain continues to batter Balochistan, KP

The PDMA DG highlighted that the current weather system could affect Makran the most

By News Desk
April 18, 2024
People commuting during heavy rain, on June 25, 2023. — APP
People commuting during heavy rain, on June 25, 2023. — APP

QUETTA/KURRAM: As torrential rainfall continued to wreak havoc in Balochistan on Wednesday, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) predicted downpours in parts of Sindh, including Karachi.

Continuous rains accompanied by thunderstorms have lashed several parts of the country over the past few days, with landslides and floods reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In a weather outlook, the PMD forecast thunderstorms and rainfall in the Karachi Division and other parts of Sindh from Wednesday till April 19. It further said a “westerly wave” was affecting Balochistan, which has been reeling from floods following a three-day spell of torrential rainfall.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General (DG) Jahanzeb Khan, de-watering pumps had been delivered to Gwadar and relief efforts were also underway in Pasni.

The PDMA DG highlighted that the current weather system could affect Makran the most, adding that “necessary items” had been provided to the division. Saying that there were encroachments on “45 feet of a 50-feet nullah”, Jahanzeb said that rainwater was being drained from such nullahs.

Meanwhile, Pishin DC Jumma Dad Mandokhail said Levies and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) teams rescued residents of Pishin’s Hamidabad, where around 15 houses had collapsed owing to heavy rainfall. Floodwater was being diverted to the Khushdil Khan Dam and Manzaki Drain, the DC said, noting that this would keep Hamidabad, Dab and adjacent areas safe as well as replenish the dam’s supply. He added that 80 per cent of the task had been completed.

DC Mandokhail further said that the rains had also affected the Dab Khanzai Bridge, which would be repaired once the floodwater was removed.

In Panjgur, the district administration was engaged in rescue activities, with machinery being used to open sewerage leading to Rakhshaan nullah, according to DC Mumtaz Khetran. “Relief teams of municipal committee and roads department are working and accumulated rainwater is being cleared from city areas,” he said.

Harnai DC Javed Domki said floods had severely damaged the national highways connecting Harnai to Quetta and Punjab. However, traffic has been restored for smaller vehicles on the Harnai-Punjab highway between Harnai and Sabjavi, while the district administration was working to restore the highways.

According to the Balochistan PDMA, rain is expected from the night of April 16-19 in various districts, including Gwadar, Kech, Panjgur, Lasbela, Hub, Khuzdar, Surab and Kalat. Other potentially affected areas include Awaran, Kharan, Washuk, Mastung, Naseerabad, Noshki, Chagai, Quetta, Pishin, Harnai, Loralai, Qila Saifullah, Shirani, Zhob, Ziarat, Duki, Kohlu, Dera Bugti and Jhal Magsi, the PDMA said.

According to the PMD, under the influence of a westerly wave, “thunderstorm/rain of light to moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls” were likely in Jamshoro, Dadu, Naushahro Feroze, Sanghar, Hyderabad, Mitiari, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Kashmore, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Larkana, Sukkur, Ghotki districts and Karachi Division from today to April 19 morning.

Thursday was expected to be cloudy with chances of “intermittent thunderstorm/rain of moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls”. The weather was expected to be “fair/partly cloudy” on Friday. Speaking to Geo News, Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfraz said: “The rain predicted in Karachi and Sindh is less intense than in Balochistan.” He further said that there were “chances of light rain tonight”.

Talking about Sindh, Sarfraz said Hyderabad, Mirphurkhas and Nawabshah were among the areas expected to receive light rain, adding that upper Sindh “might see moderate rain with some heavy spells”. He predicted the system would depart Sindh by Thursday night, moving elsewhere across the country.

Talking about Balochistan, he said that the province was experiencing intense rainfall along with flash floods. “There is a very strong weather system affecting Balochistan right now. We are seeing heavy rain and are expecting it to also hit Makran, Chagai and Noshki districts over the next three days,” he said.

“This system will remain in Balochistan until April 19, before moving to Quetta and then into Punjab and Azad Kashmir,” the chief meteorologist said.

Meanwhile, Kurram district has suffered widespread damage caused by thunderstorms, winds, heavy rains, and floods from the River Kurram. In various areas of the district, mud houses have collapsed and agricultural lands along the banks of the River Kurram have been inundated.

According to the district administration and Rescue 1122, heavy rains and thunderstorms have caused many makeshift shelters to collapse in different areas of the district. Concerned about the risk to their mud-built structures, many residents have vacated their dwellings.

On the other hand, agricultural lands along the banks of the River Kurram, both upstream and downstream, have been submerged, resulting in significant losses for farmers. Citizens have demanded immediate assistance for those affected by the calamity and construction of embankments along the riverbanks.