Residents wade through a flooded road after heavy rainfall at Main Qasimabad road.— ONLINE


Residents wade through a flooded road after heavy rainfall at Main Qasimabad road.— ONLINE
  • Flow of traffic remains suspended on interprovincial highways; power supply and mobile networks cut off 
  • PMD forecasts more heavy rains in Sindh and Balochistan over next 48 hours.
  • PM Shehbaz directs NDMA and PDMA to pace up relief operations in affected areas at the earliest.

The incessant torrential rains pounding Sindh with flash flooding in Dera Ghazi Khan, Balochistan’s Lasbela and adjoining areas killed another 23 and left scores of people injured and hundreds displaced on Thursday, while traffic remained suspended across interprovincial highways, The News reported.

The heavy rains in most parts of Sindh, including Thatta, Dadu, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Larkana, and Hyderabad paralysed communication systems, prompting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to direct the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to expedite relief and rehabilitation activities in the flood-affected areas of southern Sindh.

In a provincial breakup of the rising death toll, as many as 14 people died as a result of rain-related accidents in Khairpur and Qambher, six persons including four children died in different parts of DG Khan and three died as a result of flash-flooding in Balochistan’s Lasbela district and adjoining areas.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people were left stranded without tents under the open sky by the torrential rains following the large-scale destruction of their mud houses while the incessant heavy rains paralysed Thatta, Dadu, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Larkana, Hyderabad and other.

The constant downpour prevented the respective city administrations to resume their relief and rehabilitation service. Fuel shortages were also reported hampering the drainage of stranded rainwater as many villagers remained marooned in the water and needed rescue. The failure to drain water from the marooned villages has raised the spectre of infections and diseases.

Exceptionally strong flash flooding in Koh-e-Suleman range displaced 0.7 million population of DG Khan, besides killing six people. As many as thousands of families were stranded after 200 small, large villages were badly hit in the rain. The flash flooding also suspended traffic between Dera Ghazi Khan and Quetta, Balochistan and Punjab and also between Peshawar and Karachi on the Indus Highwa

The power supply and cell phone networks remain suspended in flood-hit areas. In a related development, heavy rains caused flash flooding in the Lasbela district and adjoining areas. With three more deaths in, the death toll in Balochistan rose to 205, while 81 suffered injuries according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). The situation in other districts has not improved yet as Musakhail, Zhob, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Qila Abdullah, Nasirabad and Lasbela were still receiving torrential rains for the past two days.

According to officials, hundreds of mud houses were damaged in Qila Saifullah, Muslim Bagh, Musakhail, Kohlu, Dera Bugti and other areas due to incessant rains. A total of 18 bridges and 690 km of roads have been damaged amid the rains. PDMA and rescue authorities are carrying out operations in flood-affected areas. Traffic on Quetta-Karachi National Highway remained suspended even after five days as flood water is still flowing over the highway.

The Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) has forecast more heavy rains in Sindh and Balochistan in the next 48 hours with urban flooding and flash flooding across hill torrents in KP, South Punjab and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to carry out relief and rehabilitation activities in the flood-affected areas of southern Sindh.

Expressing deep sorrow over the loss of life and property caused by the monsoon rains, the prime minister directed the NDMA and PDMA to pace up relief operations in the affected areas at the earliest. The PM stressed ensuring the rescue of the people on a priority basis and instructed them to provide financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to each family.

He emphasised an immediate supply of food and clean water to the victims besides ensuring them facilities of accommodation and medicines. The prime minister also instructed the authorities to be vigilant in the wake of potential flooding besides taking necessary measures.

According to Inter-services Public Relations, the Pakistan Army troops remained busy in relief activities in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Naseerabad and Lasbela. The army medical teams were providing medical care to the affected people.

Meanwhile, the United States announced a $1 million grant in support of Pakistan’s efforts to address floods and other natural disasters that have caused heavy loss of life and property across the country.

In a tweet, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We stand by Pakistan in hard times and offer our support to flood victims. In addition to $100,000 in immediate relief, the US announced $1 million to build resilience against natural disasters, and we continue to work together to mitigate future impacts of the climate crisis.

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