QUETTA  - Nine more people, five children among them, have lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Balochistan, while a huge flood threat of over 250,000 cusecs of water is moving from Jhalawan hilly region to Jhal Magsi plains.

Ferocious rains and ensuing floods have already rendered thousands of people homeless or marooned. They are taking refuge on patches of high ground or at the roadside passing days under the open sky as they have yet to receive tents, ration and relief supplies.

Deaths from rain-related incidents have reached 17 during the past 48 hours and the victims are mostly women and children.

There was an evacuation order for Gandawah area of Jhal Magsi district on Sunday. People were asked to leave their homes immediately over fears that a huge flood might hit the city somewhere around midnight.

Areas of Saifabad, Kot Magsi, Misri Goth and others are also under flood threat as all seasonal rivers are learnt to have been in high spate as torrential rains continue lashing Jhalawan and other parts of central Balochistan.

Incessant rains over the past three days in Nal, Karakh, Wadh, Khuzdar and other adjoining areas have sent rivers in high flood and disrupted road communication paralyzing normal life.  The worst affected areas are Karakh, Nal and Zehri besides Khuzdar, the second biggest city of Balochistan.  Due to a landslide in Wangu region the main artery of Khuzdar-Shahdad Kot, linking central Balochistan and upper Sindh, has been closed. Traffic has been suspended on the strategic highway which is passing through the mainlands of Pakistan.

In Nal area of Khuzdar district, three children were killed when roof of their house caved in. Another child died in a wall-collapse incident in Khuzdar.

Separately, two children, Nasebullah and Majid, were swept away by floodwater and killed.

Three women were reported dead in Kech valley near Turbat when a vehicle was swept away by floodwater in the seasonal river carrying a huge discharge. Levies officials said they recovered three bodies and were trying to locate three others, a man and two women.

Heavy rain torrents are also learnt to hit Kalat, Mashkhel, Sibi, Panjgur and surrounding areas destroying crops over large swathes.  Hill torrents from Dera Ghazi Khan and Marri-Bugti hills have caused devastation in Musakhel, submerging residential areas and sweeping away a large number of cattle head. 

In Pat feeder command area, rains and floods damaged 42 houses. As a precaution, the power franchise of QESCO has suspended power supply to the whole region.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority Director Attaullah Mengal confirmed ten casualties in rain-related incidents in Jhal Magsi, Loralai, Khuzdar and Kech districts.  He said over 15 to 20 thousand people had been rendered homeless owing to floods and rains and the worst hit area was of Jhal Magsi. He said rescue activities were in progress and foods items had been sent to affected areas. However there were reports of shortage of food and potable water.

In the wake of widespread rains and flood, the Sindh government had closed the Pat feeder from Kashmore so that damages should be minimal.  For fear of more destruction, the Provincial Irrigation Department has started monitoring of the Pat feeder from upstream to the tail-end of the canal.  Rains and floods have disrupted road communication among more than 11 districts and transporters had suspended bus service to major cities from smaller towns.  So far the Balochistan Health Department is unmoved and blank about the possible outbreak of any epidemics and deadly diseases in flood-affected areas. Sources said owing to heavy rains and floods costal highway had been closed for traffic.