QUETTA    -   Almost 70 percent of Balochistan is left in lurch as relief efforts made in the wake of devastating rains have done little to alleviate the sufferings of those waiting for immediate assistance.

“Out of 34 districts, 26 districts of Balochistan province are worst affected by the monsoon rains and flooding,” Director General Naseer Ahmed Nasar said listing the names of districts which continue to receive heavy rains.

They include: Kalat, Lasbela, Kohlu, Naseerabad, Panjgur, Pishin, Ziarat, Quetta, Barkhan, Gwadar, Turbat, Kila Abdullah, Qilla Saifullah, and Chaman, Shirani, and Loralai.

“209 people, including 96 men, 48 women and 58 children have lost their lives due to monsoon rains so far,” DG PDMA said.

According to the Meteorological Department, heavy rains in Balochistan will continue till August 19.

The Department of Meteorology said that due to the rain, flooding was expected in the rivers while the low-lying areas of Balochistan were also likely to be flooded.

The Balochistan province remains cut off after land sliding triggered by continuous downpour which had blocked Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan and Loralai-Fort Munro highways — roads connecting Balochistan to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Likewise, The Quetta-Karachi and Quetta-Sukkur highways were already closed and railway service is suspended for the past four days.

According to government sources, measures are being taken to open the roads linking Balochistan with Sindh, Punjab and KPK.

On the other hand, due to washing away of bridge and alternate road near Karachi, Lasbela administration has issued instructions to avoid traveling on the Karachi Quetta highway.

Report reaching here through PDMA about the damages caused by the heavy rain and floods said that roofs of 2 houses collapsed in Kohlu, 6 persons injured and shifted to DHQ, Kohlu while 15 houses were partially damaged in Pishin where one person died. Due to Rabi canal overflow, the outer part of Dera Murad Jamali (Chhatar Rabi) was submerged. Around 500 families are stranded at various locations including Goth Jamalwa, Goth Lashkar Khan, Goth Fazal Grani, Goth Chingiz Khan Jamali, Goth Uman Ali and Goth Sufi Muhammad Pindarani.

FC has shifted more than 90 families to three relief camps where cooked food, bottled water and first aid were provided to them. 300/400 meters of railway track was submerged at Nutal area of Naseerabad.

However, PDMA and local administration said that normal rail traffic is likely to resume from tomorrow after the water level recedes and technical inspection by the railway authorities.

M-8 landslides on Wango Hills Khuzdar- Ratodero and N-50 Zhob-DIK caused traffic disruption on the roads. Traffic on Jhal Magsi-Ghandhawa road was temporarily blocked due to mud sliding.

The level of water channels in Lasbella is rising and as a precautionary measure, traffic on the N-25 (Quetta-Karachi) was suspended due to floodwater affecting Kenta Bridge.

Although traffic was restored late last month with temporary arrangements made on the Linda Bridge, the heavy flow of water once again damaged vehicles disrupting traffic.

“The reconstruction of the bridge will take at least a year,” PDMA officer said adding however, a diversion/causeway was being constructed.

PDMA, Pak Army and local administration is making endeavors to reach out to the affected people and provide them ration and other necessities.