PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD/LAHORE  -  Our Staff Reporters/Agencies  -  Monsoon has started taking its toll on this all-time ill-prepared nation as rain lashed most parts of the country, making rivers and streams to flow dangerously high and causing flooding in some areas, including parts of Peshawar where emergency was declared.

Dozens of houses and bridges were destroyed in Chitral and other northern parts of the country and high alert was sounded in Sibi district of Balochistan in the south. Floods in Bagh killed four people, two brothers died when their mud house collapses in capital Islamabad, while five of a family were wounded in a rain-related incident in Lahore.

At least one person died and nine other injured in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Eight persons were injured in roof collapse in Khyber Agency. Flash flood killed three people in Azad Kashmir’s Bagh district. Another man was drowned in a nearby village. Two youth drowned in floodwater near Rawlakot.

The rain has proved a mixed blessing it has turned the weather pleasant and provided some respite to people from the oppressive heat and humidity. But Met Office has forecast more rain during next 24 hours in northern parts of the country, raising fears of further human and material loss. The Friday’s report forecast scattered rain with thundershowers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Upper Punjab for Saturday.

On Friday, water from continuous heavy rains inundated Hayatabad and Regi areas of Peshawar and several nearby villages. Many roads were flooded and bridges damaged in the outskirts of Peshawar, while the link between Peshawar and Charsadda districts was cut off. Mud houses, bridges, cattle, households and vehicles were washed away and water entered several houses and shops in the posh Hayatabad town and Regi where authorities were forced to declare emergency.

Due to heavy floods in Budhni Nulla, several villages remain cuff of from the other areas. The rain and flooding collapsed around a dozen houses in Peshawar alone. A wall fell at Punjkata area, killing Wilayat and wounding Hashtam. Apart from, four more people were injured in other areas of in the rain-related incidents. Peshawar district administration directed residents of the affected areas and those living near canals and drains to move to safer places.

Flash floods destroyed seven houses in Chitral while a bridge between Chitral and Boni was also washed away, disrupting the flow of traffic in the area. Eight persons were injured in roof collapse because of torrential rain in Ghundi area of tehsil Jamrud, in Khyber Agency. Four houses were washed away in Kafr Tangi area of Jamrud.

Heavy rainfall in Chitral and its surrounding areas has caused heavy flooding in the streams. The valley has been disconnected from its district headquarters. According to reports, as many as 120 houses and six bridges have been washed away due to floods.

Flash floods also have wreaked havoc in Azad Kashmir’s Bagh district, where a car was washed away while crossing a causeway, killing three people. Another man was drowned in a nearby village. Two youth were also reported drowned in flood water in village Hajeera near Rawlakot.

Two minors were killed and their mother and sister received multiple injuries when the roof of their house caved in due to heavy downpour in E-11 sector of Islamabad. Six-month-old Fazal Rehman and his 10-year-old brother Shahzad Kareem died on the spot while their mother Tajmena, 45, and teenager sister Sonia received multiple injuries and were taken to PIMS for treatment.

Rain inundated roads and low-lying areas of Rawalpindi. A boy reportedly fell into Nullah Leh at Chakla Pull at Raja Bazaar, prompting a search operation by Rescue 1122 divers who failed to trace the child. A Rescue 1122 spokesman said that it was not confirmed by the caller at which point the child drowned and no heir of the child had appeared to report the incident.

Five persons of a family were wounded when the roof of a dilapidated house collapsed in the Garhi Shahu area of Lahore on Friday. Police and rescue workers said the family were asleep when the roof fell on them in Lawrex Colony, wounding Mian Ejaz, his wife and three children who were stated to be out of danger.

In Balochistan, there were reports of flooding in Telli‚ Sultankot‚ Khomachi and Chachar areas of Sibi district after torrential rains. The road link between Sibi and Telli had been cut-off because of flooding in the Telli Naddi. Sibi Deputy Commissioner said a high alert has been issued to the local population but the situation was under control though all the relevant departments have been told to be ready for any eventuality. Some reports suggested that law enforcement agencies and rescue teams were busy in shifting the residents of dangerous areas of Sibbi, Migehranzai and Chandio areas to safer places.