Friday May 24, 2024

Rampage by rains continues

By our correspondents
August 29, 2020

Ag Agencies

PESHAWAR/KARACHI/LAHORE: Rains continued wreaking havoc on the country during the past 24 hours.

Life was paralysed in Karachi and in various districts of Sindh as well as parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Electricity could not be restored in most parts of Karachi, and mobile telephone networks were rendered dysfunctional.

At least 80 people were killed in Sindh, 16 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and eight across Punjab in rain-related incidents, as moderate-to-heavy showers continued lashing parts of the three provinces.

Dwellers of Pakistan's largest city Friday found themselves with little means to contact family, friends and co-workers as a breakdown of mobile data and phone services caused by extended electricity outages added to their woes a day after heavy rains wreaked havoc in Karachi. The massive communication and power crisis that had hit the metropolis on Thursday in the wake of rains continued on Friday after the infrastructure of various cellular companies remained submerged in rainwater and their towers couldn’t be supplied fuel. The power utility K Electric could not restore power to most parts of the city despite the passage of 20 hours.

Addressing a press conference, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said average rainfall in Karachi on Thursday was over 150 mm breaking all the previous records. The unprecedented rains across the province inflicted heavy loss of lives and property in the province including Karachi.’’ Accompanied by provincial ministers Mukhesh Chawla, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah and Advisor Murtaza Wahab, the chief minister said the intensity of the rain could be assessed from the fact that on Friday night during visit to Karachi his vehicles got stuck in the raging water and finally he had to disembark. He said the Chairman PPP was worried about the relief work in the city and he kept calling him on his cell phone after every hour to get him updated.

Shah said “the five spells of unprecedented rain from July 6 to August 28 have claimed 80 valuable lives,” he said and added, that includes 47 in Karachi.

Syed Murad Ali Shah also visited Yar Mohammad and Agha Goth villages constructed in the bed of Malir River that blocked the smooth flow of rainwater. The people of the village started complaining with the chief minister about the non-availability of civic facilities. At this, the CM said that he had a major complaint against them [people] who have occupied the river due to which the city was inundating. He also other parts of the city.

Meanwhile, the massive communication and power crisis that had hit the metropolis on Thursday in the wake of rains continued on Friday, after their towers couldn’t be supplied fuel due to power outages and floods. This increased the trauma of the subscribers of these services who could not learn about the well being of their loved ones.

Similarly, most of the major thoroughfares and underpasses of the city remained submerged in rainwater and many of those from where the rainwater was eventually drained, were found broken or had caved in making it impossible for vehicles to ply

The K Electric struggled to restore electricity to various parts of the city even 20 hours after Thursday’s rainfall. But in large parts of many areas power supply couldn’t be restored until Friday night.

Meanwhile, 13 people died due to rain-related incidents in Larkana, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Tando Muhammed Khan, Dokri, Dadu, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kamber, Khairpur, Badin, Johi, Thatta and Sanghar. The Pakistan Army and Navy helped the civil administration in rescuing the marooned victims and shifting them to safer places.

As many as 63 electricity feeders of Sepco and Hesco tripped suspending power supply to large parts of Hyderabad and Sukkur divisions which could not be restored despite lapse of 36 hours.

A 150 feet wide breach occurred in the LBOD ( Left Bank Outfall Drain) at RD-282 near Malkani Shareef submerging many villages including Rahim Khan Notkani and others. Near Badin, the engineering personnel of the Pakistan Army and the Irrigation staff were trying to plug the 150-foot breach in the LBOD from 228 RD. Another 100-foot breach in the Dour Sim Nulla caused havoc in Nawabshah and flooded the rail tracks at the train station while people began to shift towards higher ground.

In Balochistan, traffic from several parts of eastern and central Balochistan to Quetta that was suspended after bridges and causeways on the Quetta-Sukkur national highway were damaged due to heavy torrential rains, was restored. However, the work was underway to reconnect Mach with Quetta.

Dozens of mud-houses in different areas were damaged or collapsed because of rains and flooding. Officials of the irrigation department said Bolan and Nari rivers were in a high flood as rains continued in Harnai and Ziarat districts. Flash floods had damaged many link roads in Sibi, Nasirabad, Jaffarabad, Subhatpur, Dear Allahyar, Bolan, Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar, Kalat, Mastung, Lasbela and all the three districts of Makran division, including Turbat, Gwadar and Panjgur after they were pounded with heavy rains. A many as 20 villages of Jhal Magsi were submerged in floodwater and the district remained cut off from Gandawah sub-division.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Friday issued weather advisory based on the prevailing hydro-meteorological conditions over Pakistan from August 29-31. According to the PMD, another monsoon rain bearing system is likely to enter Sindh on Saturday, Aug 29.

Under the influence of the meteorological system, rain/wind-thundershowers, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, are expected in Sindh districts including Karachi from Saturday to Monday. Rain-thundershowers with isolated heavy falls are expected in Balochistan regions also during Sunday and Monday.

In KP, the floods caused by heavy rains continued to batter various areas of the province on Friday, causing several casualties and damage to properties.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), in a communiqué, said that 16 people were killed and many injured as flash floods caused by heavy rains and cloudburst hit Swat, Upper Kohistan and Shangla. Eight people died in Upper Kohistan, six in Swat and two in Shangla due to the flash floods. Fifteen people drowned in flash floods in Shagram and Terat areas of Madain in Swat district where nine persons were injured as well. The bodies of four people identified as Palwasha, wife of Ijaz, Rizwan, son of Ali Jan, Tanzeela, daughter of Ali Jan, and Samiullah, son of Bakht Shah Rawan were fished out while the Rescue-1122 teams were searching for the missing persons.

The commissioner said the chief minister had announced Rs500,000 for each dead and 100,000 for each injured.

About 80 rescuers of 1122, five ambulances, water rescue team, recovery vehicle and disaster rescue vehicle are taking part in the operation. Eight persons, including seven of a family mostly women were killed when flash floods wreaked havoc in Upper Kohistan. Scores of houses were damagd in different parts of the district.

“The Karakoram Highway has been blocked at three points and dozens of villages were inundated in different parts of the district. The rescue and rehabilitation operation was started with the support of Frontier Works Organisation and police,” Arif Yousafzai, the deputy commissioner of Upper Kohistan, told the media.

The DC said a large number of families were affected because of the natural calamity in Sazeen, Kanida Tehsil, Harban and Dasu tehsil of the district. “We have fished out bodies of a woman and her three children and search for their three other family members is in progress as this family was swept away after their house caved-in during flooding in Lachi Nullah in Sazeen village,” Yousufzai said.

He said that FWO was busy in clearing Karakoram Highway that was blocked at three points for all sort of traffic because of the heavy landslide and soil erosion.

According to PDMA, 40 houses were damaged fully and 26 partially in the flooding. The authority has dispatched relief items, including tents and food, to the affected areas in Swat, Chitral, Shangla and Kohistan.

In Punjab, at least eight people were killed across province in rain-related incidents during the past 24 hours.

In Lahore, a house roof collapsed in Afzal Colony due to heavy rains, resulting in death of four people. The victims were identified as Azmat, Khalil, Aif and an unidentified man.

One of the deceased belonged to Karak while three people were from Buner.

In another incident, taking place at Rahbar Adda, the roof of a house collapsed, injuring four people. Two were given first aid, while two others were shifted to Jinnah Hospital.

In Sialkot, a 22-year-old man, Ibrahim, son of Shafique, drowned in Aik Nullah near Rawailgarha village. Another unidentified man drowned in Jammu Tavi River near village Chaprar. Efforts to fish out the bodies were under way by Rescue-1122.

Three separate incidents of roof and wall collapses caused injuries to three persons, who were shifted to local hospitals.

From Wednesday to Friday noon, the Sialkot district received heavy-to-moderate rains, affecting the civic life and inundating the city localities. The rains have increased water level in the rivers and nullahs flowing in Sialkot district.

According to official sources on Friday, the flow of water in Chenab River at Maral Headworks was 167,844 cusecs and water level was receding. The water level in Jammu Tavi River (11,868 cusecs) and Munawar Tavi River (9,211 cusecs) was also receding. The flow of water in Dek Nullah was reported at 285 cusecs and level was receding.

Nullah Aik and Nullah Bhed, both passing through Sialkot city, had medium and high floods, respectively with flow of water at 11,897 and 2,760 cusecs. Nullah Palkhu, which passes by the Cantonment area, was also having high flood with flow of water at 4,585 cusecs. Heavy floodwater caused damage to a bridge at Palkhu Nullah near Bhoth village.

According to Gujranwala correspondent, two children were killed and another injured in a roof collapse incident in Wazirabad.

Children of Muhammad Shafiq were sleeping in their house when the roof collapsed due to rain. Resultantly, Nayab, 10, and his brother Attiqur Rehman, 8, died on-the-spot, while their sister Seema, 2, was injured.

According to PMD, Rain-thundershowers may also occur in Punjab (Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanpur, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Multan, Khanewal and Sahiwal) during the period.