Thursday October 06, 2022

Torrential rains kill 12 people countrywide

By our correspondents
July 28, 2022

SUKKUR/LAHORE/DIK/ISLAMABAD: Torrential rains Wednesday played havoc in various parts of the country, killing 12 people and injuring many others.

According to reports, six people were killed in different areas of Sindh where deluge of rainwater inundated cities, towns and villages, damaging power and telecom infrastructure and bringing daily life almost to a halt.

In Gambat area of Khairpur, the roof of a house of Rattan Kumar collapsed on the sleeping house inmates, killing Kumar and his two sons Sham Sunder and Ravi, while Teena and Anouradhah were injured. The bodies of the family members and those injured were shifted to the GIMS Hospital.

In Ranipur area of Khairpur, the wall of a house collapsed, killing a woman identified as Feroza Khatoon. Three family members were rescued.

In Radhan area of Nawabshah district, a boy, Noor Muhammad, died when the roof of a house caved in. In Tando Adam, a boy, Hamza, was electrocuted.

The rainwater inundated Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Sajawal, Johi, Dadu, Obaro, Sukkur, Khairpur, Larkana and other cities.

Flood broke the Nara dyke in Khairpur district, inundating houses and standing crops. The marooned people demanded immediate rescue, food and other items.

Fareedabad, Kacho, Shah Godhro and other areas were also cut off from Khairpur Nathan Shah, Johi and Mehar. The municipal administration completely failed to drain out the rainwater, especially in low-lying areas as emergency water pumping machines were out of order.

The people of the affected areas are facing an acute shortage of clean drinking water. The threat of disease outbreak also looms large in the water-logged areas. Sindh Minister for Irrigation Department Jam Khan Shoro visited various areas of Hyderabad to review the situation. Till the filing of this report in the evening, rain was lashing most parts of Sindh.

In Lahore, a heavy rain affected the train operations. Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Railways Farrukh Taimur Ghilzai said the train operation had been severely affected by the heavy rains. He said train operations will get back to normal once the ongoing monsoon rain spell was over.

Farrukh said tracks, yards and signalling systems were affected at many places but the staff and officers of the department ensured that no train got cancelled. He was replying to queries of common people through an E-Kutchery.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, hill torrents swept away six more people, raising the total causalities to nine in the rural and remote locations of the district. The death toll is feared to rise, as a number of persons, including children, are missing after the high speed flood entered various villages.

According to officials in the zonal irrigation and power department, the heavy rains led to flooding in the hill stations. As per sources, one of the storage dams recently built in the foothills of Suleman Ranges was damaged, which increased the intensity and speed of the flood. Rescue officials confirmed that four bodies had been recovered. In Balochistan, at least 105 people have died and 61 injured so far while over 1,000 people have been displaced due to torrential rains and flash floods. Addressing a press conference in Quetta, the provincial government spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah said due to floods in the province, over 5,000 livestock and houses were completely damaged, whereas over 7,000 houses were partially damaged.

Out of the total 220 disconnected roads, around 185 have been restored while work on restoration of 34 was in progress. Likewise, rains also damaged 44 bridges out of which 38 were restored. Loaders, tractors, and excavators were also deployed to carry out relief operation in a smooth way.

No loss occurred to major dams; however, 1,020 small dams were damaged on which rehabilitation work was underway, she maintained. Farah said the provincial government continued relief operation in the rain-affected districts by utilising all available resources.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), district administration and other departments are pursuing relief and rescue operations in the rain-affected areas to protect the life and property of people in the current emergency situation, she added. The spokesperson categorically stated that the provincial government would not compromise on relief and rehabilitation of the catastrophe-stricken people.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Wednesday warned that monsoon currents were continuously penetrating the country and were set to shift and intensify in the upper and central parts of the country. In a statement, the department said heavy rains could generate urban flooding in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, Faisalabad, Lahore and Gujranwala until July 31.

It added that the rainfall could trigger landslides in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Galiyat, Murree, Chilas, Diamer, Gilgit, Hunza, Astore, Ghizer and Skardu. The PMD said travellers and tourists should remain more cautious, while all authorities concerned should remain alert and take necessary precautionary measures during the forecast period.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed the relevant departments to stay alert to cope with any emergency situation.