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Another 22 people perish, hundreds stranded inrain-hit Balochistan, KP

Deceased include nine members of a family swept away by a flood

Heavy rains and floods have unleashed devastation in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, leaving 22 people dead and hundreds of others stranded in both provinces, the provincial disaster management authorities (PDMAs) said on Saturday.

Relentless monsoon rains have pummeled the country and spelled disaster in towns, cities and villages alike. The Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps have been aiding the civil administration in rescue and relief operations in the provinces.

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Balochistan in particular has seen uncharacteristically heavy rains during the monsoon season this year. In the last 24 hours, 12 people were killed and at least 17 others injured in rain- and flood-related incidents. They included nine members of a family – seven children, a woman and a man – who drowned after being swept away by floods, the PDMA said in an update.

According to Balochistan Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili, rains have taken the lives of 124 people and damaged 10,000 houses in the province since June 1. Section 144 has been imposed in the province and the citizens have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel for 10 days, Uqaili added. Meanwhile, the road link of Balochistan with Sindh was completely cut off after a bridge and a road connecting the two provinces were damaged in Lasbela and Khuzdar, respectively. Traffic on the Quetta-Karachi highway was still suspended due to collapsing of major bridges and sweeping away of big portions of the highway. Separately, trade between Pakistan and Iran was suspended after rains and flashfloods washed away Quetta-Zahedan rail track at various points. Over in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, at least 10 people were killed and 17 injured as a result of floods and incidents of roof collapse, according to a report issued by the PDMA.

It said that in the last 36 hours, nearly 100 houses were completely damaged in floods, leaving residents stranded in waist-high water and no roof. The most-affected areas include Khyber, Mansehra, Lower Dir, Buner, Swabi and Dera Ismail Khan. The PDMA warned that there were high-level floods in the Kabul and Jandi rivers, and instructed the administration to relocate people living in neighbouring areas. Also, in its latest forecast, the Met Office predicted more rains accompanied by thunderstorms across the country during the next 12 hours. Isolated heavy falls are likely in Kashmir, upper Punjab, Islamabad, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and north Balochistan, a Radio Pakistan report said. Meanwhile, two dams, Jara and Tabina, collapsed in Balochistan’s Toba Achakzai area of Toba Kakar mountain range following disastrous spell of monsoon rains. After the dams’ collapse, the floodwater wiped out cattle, crops and farmlands in the affected areas.

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Also, another flashflood from Balochistan entered Sindh within three days and wreaked havoc in the province. As torrential rains and flashfloods continued in Balochistan, a second stream of floodwater entered areas adjacent to Qambar-Shahdadkot district and the hilly region of Kachho in Dadu district. Thirty more villages in Kachho and link roads have submerged, as the total number of drowned villages in the hilly region has reached 50, sources said.



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