Rains and Flash floods: Shangla, Ghizer, Kohistan, Dir among worst affected as death toll rises to 188
Northern areas, Khyber Paktunkhwah and various other parts of Pakistan have been badly hit by recent rains and flashfloods claiming around 188 lives yet the local administration has failed to declare emergency in the affected areas which would have boosted the relief efforts. Karakorum Highway, the only road link of the country with the northern areas has been severed from no fewer than 19 places stranding hordes of travellers and commuters. The calamity has caused impending shortage of food supplies and medicines in the region.
Severely affected areas include Ghizer district, Chipursan Valley, Kohistan, Dir, Shangla, Berseen and other parts of Gilgit Baltistan and KP. As per the data provided by PDMA the death toll currently stands at 104 in KP, 31 in FATA and 14 in GB. Rescue efforts are underway to save the 25 people who were buried in a landslide in Othar Nala, Kandiyan district Kohistan. Lack of earth moving machinery and paramedics, the death toll is likely to reach with the passage of time.
There have also been reports of lack of food supplies as most of the shops and bazaars have been emptied by mass purchasing by the locals and visitors in the prevalent scenario. Tourists and travelers stranded at various points on KKH also decided to walk their way back, citing an instance where three men managed to reach Besham from Samar Nala in three days.
“We are fully prepared to reach out to people of the affected area – two helicopters are stationed in Abbottabad to fly to Kohistan but inclement weather is the main obstacle,” Hazara Division Commissioner Akbar Khan told press reporters on Tuesday
Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted a new system likely to bring in heavier rains from Friday, April 8th. This new system of rains will severely affect the relief efforts which are still to be executed under the auspices of PDMA and NDMA.
Meanwhile ISPR also issued a handout regarding the relief efforts underway by the Army and FWO in order to reconnect the damaged sections of KKH and clearing off communication lines.