“Right before our eyes”

September 4, 2022

Swat has suffered large scale destruction due to the floods

“Right before our eyes”

After the floods of 2010, the floods that hit Swat on August 25 were one of the most devastating in the region. The flood engulfed northern areas of Swat and caused severe destruction at and around tourism centres including Kalam, Bahrain, Madyan and the plains of Swat.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, peak water flow was recorded at 227,899 cusecs.

Sixteen people died and 15 were injured in various areas of Swat, according to the local administration. Authorities say 130 kilometres of roads were swept away in the flood. Seventeen communication bridges were also destroyed in the floods, including Madin's famous ‘Surpul’ (red bridge).

According to official data, 233 houses and 40 bridges have been washed away in the floods.

Electricity supply has been discontinued in most of Swat due to electricity poles being damaged because of the flooding. Northern areas of Swat have also been cut off from the rest of the district following destruction of connecting roads.

“Right before our eyes”

The recent floods have been the biggest and the most devastating in the history of Swat. In 1927, the first major flood hit Swat. However, official records on the flood are not available with relevant departments.

Swat’s popular tourist spots including Kalam, Osho, Mittaltan, Gabral, Attur and the surrounding areas have been badly affected.

Qari Bilal, one of the flood-affected people hailing from Mittaltan, shared with The News on Sunday that the entire village swept away as water levels rose in the river. “Dozens of houses in our area were stocked with various goods. People’s money and belongings were in those houses – all is lost. The flood washed away everything.”

Bilal says that along with their houses, their fields and gardens were also destroyed in the floods.

Niaz Ali Shah, a resident of Kalam, describes the horrors witnessed during the flooding: “In a matter of minutes, we saw big hotels washed away in the floods, right before our eyes.” Shah requested that the government immediately attend to the locals and facilitate their rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation work has been started by the provincial government as well as the local administration. Army helicopters are also participating in rescue and relief operations.

Apart from the army, voluntary relief organisations and Rescue 1122, the police and levies are also taking part in rescue and relief operations.

The writer is a freelance journalist based in the flood-hit area of Swat. He has a master’s in media and mass communication

“Right before our eyes”