Monday, 2 October, 2023

15 killed as rains, floods wreak havoc in Pakistan

LAHORE: The recent rains and floods in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have claimed around 15 lives across the different districts in the provinces within 48 hours, reports Geo News.

At least three people, according to rescue sources, were reported to have died as a result of incidents involving electrocution in Pakpattan on Sunday.

Two men, Waqas and Ramzan, residents of Purani Sabzi Mandi and Arifawala, were dead after being electrocuted while bathing, while another incident took the life of a two-year-old baby, Ayesha, who died on the spot after touching an electric wire in the Sikandar Chowk area.

In KP's Mansehra and Chitral districts, five people were killed, and over a dozen were injured. On the other hand, houses and roads were washed away after rain-triggered devastation in the districts.

Hafeezur Rehman, the head of Rescue 1122 in Mansehra, told journalists about the loss of lives due to the rain-triggered flooding in the district.

Five people have been killed and over a dozen injured and houses collapsed. And many arteries have been blocked in the district. Our teams are active all around as the fresh rain spell triggered large-scale devastation, he said.

Heavy rain in Mansehra, which began late Friday night, continued intermittently the entire next day and destroyed several houses and blocked roads.

The house of an Afghan national, Samiullah, collapsed on the Chinar Road in the district's Thakra area, burying six members of his family under the rubble who were shifted to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital by Rescue 1122 officials. The doctors, however, pronounced Samiullah's wife and son dead, while the rest were hospitalised.

Ajwa Bibi, 12, and her younger brother Mohammad Umar were buried alive when their house collapsed in the Dehri area of Shinkiari. The locals and Rescue 1122 officials shifted them to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital after retrieving them from the rubble, where doctors pronounced Ajwa Bibi dead.

The family members of Mohammad Qadeer were also buried alive under the debris when their house collapsed in the Lohar Banda area in the heart of Mansehra city. The locals shifted them to King Abdullah Teaching Hospital, where a doctor pronounced Mohammad Hussain, 9, dead while four members of his family were hospitalised.

The rescuers also fished out a body of an unknown man who had drowned in a stream following rains in the Chitta Batta area.

Two pickup vehicles were also washed away in the flood waters in the Dugai stream in Mansehra's Oghi. According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of passengers travelling between Oghi and the neighbouring Torghar district were stuck on both sides of the road after an incomplete bridge washed away in last year’s flood.

The houses also collapsed in Safada and other areas in the district. The roads were also blocked in Safada village, Siran Valley, Konsh Valley and Kaghan Valley owing to the land and mudslides. The rain, which also hit Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan, Kolai-Palas and Torghar districts, continued intermittently the entire next day, but no fatality was reported from anywhere.

The flash floods triggered by torrential rains washed away over half a kilometre of Chitral-Shandur Road, disconnecting the land link between the Lower Chitral and Upper Chitral districts. The floodwater in the Chitral River also submerged Gangoreni Hydel Powerhouse, and the adjacent residential quarters damaged the powerhouse in Chitral City.

The floodwater also hit the historic Shahi Qilla and the hotel located in the central part of Chitral and washed away three trees. Similarly, two houses were destroyed while four others were partially damaged in the city's Ochusht area, while three houses were destroyed in Ayun Town.

Reports pouring in from Kalash and Rambur valleys suggested that four houses and standing crops were destroyed when floodwaters from Rambur Nullah inundated the area.

Chitral Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali said land communication had been disconnected with Upper Chitral. He added that the district administration had dispatched rescue teams to the affected areas.

Garm Chashma and Dineen Road had been opened, he said, adding the highways of Chitral were flooded, but there was no loss of life had been reported.

The meteorological department has also forecasted more heavy rains all across the Hazara division from July 22 to 26.

Meanwhile, two children died while three citizens were injured in rain-related incidents in Lahore on Saturday.

According to details, a 12-year-old boy drowned while bathing in rainwater near Babu Sabu in the limits of Sherakot. A 14-year-old boy drowned in rainwater near Aik Moria Pul, Misri Shah. A citizen was injured when a roof collapsed in the Raiwind area. Three people were injured when a wall collapsed in Shahdara area.

In Malakwal, one woman was killed, and another was injured after the roof of a house collapsed due to rain in Dhol Ranjha on Saturday.

According to rescue 1122 sources, due to heavy rain, the roof of a house collapsed in Dhol Ranjha village. In this incident, two women — 45-year-old Haleema Bibi and 50-year-old Seema Bibi — were buried under the rubble.

The Rescue 1122 team pulled them from the rubble, but Haleema breathed her last due to critical injuries. At the same time, Seema was seriously injured and shifted to the hospital for treatment.