Emergency declared as Balochistan grapples with rain, floods

One dead in Pishin, several villages submerged, hundreds homeless

QUETTA   -  With constant rains inundating more and more parts of Balo­chistan, authorities have de­clared an emergency in around a dozen districts, amid a fresh warning from the meteoro­logical department of thunder­showers in the upper and cen­tral parts of the country over the next three days.

One more death was reported in the Pishin area, while several villages came under floodwater, leaving hundreds homeless.

The province’s road link with Sindh could not be restored as the causeway built near Pinjra bridge was once again swept away in a flash flood in Bolan district. Ziarat, Qila Saifullah, Harnai, Sanjavi, Qila Abdullah, Kharan, Panjgur, Pishin and Zhob are among the districts where a state of emergency has been declared. Officials said the province’s northern, cen­tral, and eastern districts were continuously receiving heavy downpour. Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, taking notice of damages to life and property, has announced the immediate release of Rs150 million for a relief operation. Officials said that the situation in Panjgur and Kharan was worsening as the torrential monsoon rains flood­ed the main towns and villages.

“The western part of Kharan town was presenting a picture of complete destruction and no house is able to stay in it,” PPP leader Gen (Retd) Qadir Baloch said. All dams have been com­pletely filled up to their capacity and floodwater is flowing from spillways. “Our all dams were in danger, if rain continued the dams would be damaged,” dep­uty commissioner Panjgur said, adding that link roads were also badly affected due to flood as seasonal rivers of the area were carrying huge floodwater.

Kohlu and other areas cut off due to landsliding while the situation was also dire in Qila Saifullah, where roads linking the area with other districts were washed away. Officials said the Mirani Dam in Makran’s Kech area had also filled up and its spillways had been opened to release the excess water. Of­ficials said that the water level of Hub dam had not changed as more water was reaching the dam due to continuous rains in its catchment areas. The road link between Hub town and Ka­rachi could not be restored as the flood water released from the dam created a hurdle in the construction of a temporary causeway. Separately, the Paki­stan Meteorological Depart­ment (PMD) issued warnings of rain and thundershowers in the upper and central parts of the country over the next three days — from July 27 to 30 — further intensifying concerns regarding the flood situation.

The monsoon rains lashing different regions of Pakistan have led to a continuous in­crease in the water level in the major rivers, posing flooding threat to various areas.

The Provincial Disaster Man­agement Authority (PDMA) reported low to medium level flooding in the Indus, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej rivers.

In the Indus, low-level flood­ing was observed at Tarbela, Kalabagh, and Chashma, while a moderate flood was recorded at Taunsa, where the inflow and outflow reached 439,908 cusecs. Similarly, the river Sutlej is heaving a medium-level flood at Sulaimanki, with 84,430 cusecs recorded both upstream and downstream. In the river Chenab, the water level at Marala rose to 127,466 cusecs upstream and 110,466 cusecs downstream. The esca­lating river water levels have resulted in the inundation of several areas, causing damage to homes and crops, forcing the residents to move to safer places along with their live­stock. Of particular concern is Nankana Sahib, where the floodwaters wreaked havoc, damaging numerous buildings and leaving residents stranded due to flooding of land routes. In the Ravi, the Balloki area witnessed a low-level flooding, with 58,830 cusecs inflow and 42,030 cusecs outflow record­ed at Balloki Headwater. PDMA Director General Imran Qureshi issued a warning, stating that Indian dams on the Beas and Sutlej rivers were also nearing their capacity. He warned that if the water levels in these In­dian dams continued to rise, it could lead to more water being released into Pakistan.

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