More monsoon rains are forecast as floods cause heavy losses across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
t least five people have been killed and several injured due to torrential rains, flash floods and landslides in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The flood waters have also damaged houses, crops, roads and bridges.
Chitral, Upper Kohistan, Mohmand, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Kurram and Lower Dir are the most affected areas due to torrential rains, floods and landslides.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) situation report says that at least 38 houses have been destroyed are 17 have been partially damaged in Upper Kohistan. The flash flood has washed away seven micro dams and killed nine cattle heads. The district administration says a suspension bridge on Uchar Nullah has been damaged. “For the restoration of washed away road in Kandia, heavy machinery has been dispatched. The administration has also launched a relief operation and collected the disaster data,” Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Asif says.
Due to high floods in River Kabul, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rescue 1122 has been put on alert. In Michani area of Mohmand district, the river water has entered houses. “In the rescue operation at least 160 people including women and children from various villages near the river have been shifted to safer places,” KP Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Khateer Ahamd says.
Shah Nawaz, a journalist from Michani, says more than 200 families have been evacuated from various villages due to the high flood in River Kabul. “People panicked when River Kabul’s water entered two villages. Since then, the water has receded,” Shah Nawaz says.
The Kohistan district administration has distributed 46 tents, and 40 food packages in most affected villages. Repair and restoration of the water supply network at Jashoi is in progress. The torrential rain has caused landslides and mudslides resulting in blocked roads and inundated houses in several parts of the Hazara division. Shamsur Rehman, a journalist from Kohistan, says that dilapidated road infrastructure in the flood affected area has compounded the difficulties of the relief operation.
In Lakki Marwat, two people were washed away in flash floods. Damage to houses was also reported in the district. In DI Khan, 35 houses were damaged by floodwater. In Khyber district, one person was killed and at least five others were injured due to floods.
An initial report by the PDMA says, floods occurred in Merdin and Garm Chashma. It says six irrigation channels, two hydel power stations, potato and wheat crops and three water supply schemes have been damaged in Chitral. Rashidul Ghafoor, the PDMA focal person in lower Chitral, says Chitral-Dir, Chitral-Garm Chashma and Ayun-Bumborate roads were blocked for seven hours due to cloud burst. In summers, most parts of lower and upper Chitral are affected by flash floods that damages crops and roads in the valleys.
In Lakki Marwat, two people were washed away in flash floods, and damage to several houses was reported. In DI Khan, 35 houses were damaged by floodwater. In the Darazinda area, 11 cattle heads perished in the flood. Heavy losses were reported in the district. In Khyber district, one person was killed at and least five others were injured due to floods. The PDMA report says 84 houses have been damaged in Khyber.
In Kurram, a person died due to a landslide and dozens of houses were damaged. In Peshawar, due to heavy rain and flood in the Mattani area, eight houses were damaged. “The flash flood has affected crops in Upper as well as Central Kurram. Due to the eruption of Pewar Tangi a high school and several houses have been damaged in Upper Kurram,” says Amir Nawaz, the assistant commissioner of Upper Kurram.
In South Waziristan, the Gomal Zam Road which links Tank to Wana was blocked due to heavy rainfall and land sliding. Damage to property has also been reported from Mohmand, Hangu, Buner, and Lower Dir.
The Revenue and Agriculture Department staff in the floods-affected districts have been directed to collect details of damage to houses and crops. The data will be shared with the PDMA and compensation money distributed among the affected families and farmers. The National Weather Forecasting Centre in Islamabad has said that the monsoon rains are likely to continue in parts of KP till Sunday, July 31.
The author is a multimedia journalist. He tweets