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Flash flooding sinks Swat; 200 killed

Flood water wreaks havoc in Swat, Kalam, Hazara, Mardan, other areas

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government on Friday imposed a rain emergency in many districts, including Swat as flash floods triggered by torrential rains wreaked havoc in most parts of the province, killing at least 193 people.

The rain emergency which came into force with immediate effect and will remain in place till August 30 as Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) has warned of a “high-level flood” in Khwaja Khela and associated rivers/tributaries of Swat River.

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Besides Swat, the flash floods also played havoc in Shangla, Mingora, Kohistan, DI Khan, Kalam valley, Hazara division and other areas of the province. A viral video on social media showed a multi-story hotel in Kalam valley being swept away by floodwater. Gushing floods flowing at high speed swept through houses, restaurants, and buildings perched on the river banks in Swat, as stunned pedestrians looked on from a distance.

According to Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) at least 193 people have died and 251 injured due to rains and floods in KP during the ongoing monsoon rains. At least 19,748 homes, hotels and other buildings have been damaged in the province due to flash floods, said the PDMA. Besides infrastructure, the heavy rains and flood also left at least 959 animals dead across the province.

The emergency was imposed on the recommendation of the district administration and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) as KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan instructed the authorities concerned to accelerate the rescue and relief activities. CM Mahmood further instructed the authorities to provide food, water and other essential items to the flood victims on an emergency basis.

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In two districts of Hazara division, the number of people who died due to floods rose to 21. At least 14 people have washed away in a flood in Mansehra, Kaghan valley, after which 10 bodies, including those of women and children, were fished out from the River Kunhar. In another incident, five brothers were swept in a flood in Kohistan, Debir while in Kohistan Patan three women died and two children were injured after their house was damaged by flash floods.

The electricity distribution system in Swat was disrupted due to the floods as damage to transmission lines caused electricity suspension in Matta, Khwaja Khela, Madin, and Shangla. Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) power installations were severely damaged, with electricity poles swept away.

Raging flood torrents also washed away an electrical powerhouse in Bahrain, Swat. The flash floods wreaked havoc in Dera Ismail Khan claiming 12 lives and injuring over 50 others besides also damaging infrastructure in the district.

In Sindh, heavy rains and subsequent flash floods continued to wreak havoc as 12 people, including a man and his son, were killed in different incidents. The incidents took place in Qambar Shahdadkot, Sujawal Junejo and Qubo Saeed, Tando Mohammad Khan, Umerkor, Naukot, Sanghar and other areas.

A chaotic situation was witnessed on Friday during mass protests by thousands of affected people in various towns and villages of the ravaged districts. Speaking to the media persons, the protest leaders alleged that they were not being provided basic
amenities of life like food, ration, safe drinking water and medicines in their so-called relief camps.

Floods and rains in Balochistan have caused havoc everywhere, with most areas of the province in darkness due to power outages since Thursday night, while communication systems have been damaged and disconnected the province from other parts of the country. So far, 235 people including children and women have been killed in rain incidents in Balochistan.



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