QUETTA: At least four people died, many others were injured and over a dozen others went missing in different parts of Balochistan, as torrential rains that lashed 22 districts of the province on Saturday caused flooding and damaged bridges and highways, cutting off Gwadar and some other areas with Quetta and rest of the country.
The provincial disaster management authority along with other authorities concerned launched a rescue operation as thousands of people were stranded in flood-hit areas of Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Jhal Magsi, Nasirabad and Sibi districts where floodwater entered houses and submerged large swathes of land while mud-houses in villages collapsed.
A bridge at the coastal highway linking the port city of Gwadar and other areas of Makran with Karachi and rest of the country washed away in the Padirak area of Gwadar district.
In Bolan area, flash floods swamped and damaged the main Quetta-Sibi highway at various points, cutting off the area with the provincial capital. A bridge on the Quetta-Sibi Highway, near Bibi Nani area of Bolan district, was badly damaged suspending all kinds of traffic. Hundreds of commuters were stuck in the floodwater.
Heavy flooding also damaged the main gas pipeline passing through the Bolan River in Bibi Nani area of Bolan district.
Four deaths confirmed; many missing; highways, bridges damaged; rescue work under way
Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, who presided over an emergency meeting of relevant departments, directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority and other authorities to launch rescue operations in the flood-affected areas without any delay and provide relief goods to the stranded people.
According to reports, the Nari and Chakar rivers were carrying heavy flood in Sibi areas. The Mola River has also badly affected parts of Khuzdar district, where Levies officials managed to rescue a large number of tourists who had come for picnicking in Chotak area.
In Dera Bugti, two people were swept away after a flash flood breached an embankment. In Kohlu district rain also destroyed mud houses and roads linking the district headquarters with other areas of the province.
Balochistan Minister for Revenue Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa told a press conference that heavy rains and flash floods hit 22 of the 33 districts of the province.
Jhal Magsi, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Sibi and Khuzdar were the worst affected by the flooding.
In Chagai, heavy rainfall caused flooding in Chehattar area where a child drowned and another was rescued and shifted to Prince Fahad hospital in Dalbandin, Assistant Commissioner Mohammad Javed Domki said.
Ali Raza Rind in Chagai, Behram Baloch in Gwadar, Ali Jan Mangi in Dera Murad Jamali and Abdul Wahid Shahwani in Khuzdar also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2020