Flood victims face death by disease and starvation

QUETTA - Two children were killed and ten others wounded, including women, in Sibi and Jaffarabad in roof collapse incidents on Wednesday, while the breaches in Pet Feeder Canal in Jaffarabad could be not be repaired so far, as a result of which hundreds of villages were still submerged by floodwater.
A large number of flood affectees in areas of Balochistan face death by disease and hunger, as the government has yet to make international appeal for relief.
Sources said over 30 bodies, including that of four security personnel had been found from different areas of Naseerabad and Jaffarabad, while over 300 people were still missing. However, the official sources did not confirm the casualties and the number of missing persons.
According to reports, two children were killed and two others wounded when roof of a house collapsed in the Landi Khosa area after torrential rains lashed Sibi district. The bodies and injured were retrieved and moved to hospital.
Sources said dozens of other mud-houses had developed cracks which compelled people to move to safer places to avoid human losses, adding that the army had started moving marooned people to safer place through boats and was providing relief goods to them. Reports from Jaffarabad and Naseerabad, where heavy rains and flood have wreaked havoc, said the breaches developed in Pat Feeder Canal could not be repaired on the second consecutive day due to which dozens of low-lying villages had been had been inundated, forcing the people to relocate.
Sources said Goth Shaki Sikandar, Khan, Janda Talab, Goth Aftab Khan, Goth Azar Khan, Goth Ghulam Qadir, Goth Abdul Majeed Khosa, and dozens of other villages were affected. “The water pressure is increasing in Subatpur city and thousands of people have taken refuge along the Subatpur-Tahir Din Road,” they added.
It has been reported that eight people, including women and children, have been wounded in roof collapse incidents in the Hamidabad area of Jaffarabad. A local journalist told this scribe that hundreds of people were trapped in floodwater because no rescue team had reached them so far.
“People, who have taken refuge along roadsides and higher places, leaving behind their houses and belongings, are in a poor condition and complaining of giving no relief on the part of government despite the passage of two days,” he said, adding that dearth of potable water, food and medicines would complicate the situation if immediate relief was not given to the affectees.
Communication system in the two districts could not be properly restored, as the floodwater was still standing on roads and railway tracks.
Briefing media persons, the focal person of Flood Relief Cell, Captain (r) Akbar Hussain Durrani, said 11 districts of Balochistan had been affected due to devastating floods that claimed 14 lives.
He said the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had already taken measures to meet any challenging situation since Met Office had predicted heavy rains. “The rescue operation is underway and the main task is to provide food items to affected people” he said, adding all district officers had been issued Rs 0.5 million immediately with a directive to establish free medical camps at all basic health units apart from the medical camps set up by the Frontier Corps and Army.
Durrani said according to available data, 80 per cent houses had been completely destroyed adding that Jaffarabad, Naseerabad, Jhal Magsi and Dera Bugti were the most affected districts.
He said 11,000 cusecs of water had passed through the Pat Feeder Canal, which had a capacity of 7,000 only, adding that the current flow was recorded at 9,000 cusecs.
Responding to a question, he said no individual or group would be allowed to cut the canal and a team had been formed to monitor the situation.
The focal person said six helicopters were taking part in rescue operation and 4200 blankets, 3200 tents, 395 bags of sugar, tea packs, rice and other edibles had been distributed. He said the government of Balochistan had not contacted the international community and NGOs for help so far and the final decision in this regard would be made after some days.
Meanwhile, Commander Southern Command Lt-Gen Muhammad Alam Khattak told reporters in Quetta said the Army was devising a comprehensive strategy to help the flood affectees.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt