PESHAWAR - KP Minister for Information Shaukat Ali Yousafzai said Tuesday that relief and rescue operations in Golen area Chitral had been expedited and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was monitoring the rescue operations himself.

At least 22 people have been rescued in Izghor and shifted to Chitral majority of them are patients, pregnant women, children and elders. 

He said that medical teams had reached the affected areas and rescue teams were also present near Golen Valley. Pedestrian and bike path will be restored within 48 hours. Heavy machinery had been shifted to areas for road construction but it will take some time because of heavy water flow. 

Shaukat Yousafzai said the melting of glacier badly affected the nearby three villages, izghor, Bakra, and Golin Payen in which 45 to 50 houses had been destroyed. Due to increase in water flow, the relief activists were facing difficulties however, food items, tents and other necessities had been provided in significant quantity.  He said mobile system was down due to which communication process was weak. Due to rise in temperature, there was a big risk of more glaciers melting. Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and other officers of the district administration were present on the spot and they spent last night with the affectees.  The situation was normal in the affected areas and the local administration was trying to complete the road for the area as soon as possible. 

Shaukat Yousafzai further said that Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) was on full alert and food and medicines had been provided to the affected area.

The information minister said that by the grace of Allah, despite no loss of life, the government institutions were alert for any untoward situation and also engaged in relief activities with full capacity.   He said in this difficult situation the government stood by the affectees and they will be helped anyways. The district administration provided edible items including rice, pulses and medicines to the affected people.  The edible items, medicines and other relief goods were being airdropped through helicopters.

The doctors, paramedic’s staff, rescue teams and officials of district administration with disasters management equipment were tirelessly working to help assist the affectees. Shaukat Yousafzai said trapped tourists were being rescued.

The flood caused due to glaciers melting have also affected Golen power house which caused suspension of electricity in the area. However, supply of electricity had been restored from alternate line to people. The NGOs are also working in the flood affected areas and providing relief to people.

Meanwhile: Water level increased at Taunsa Barrage, putting the local administration on high alert to cope with any unpleasant situation.

According to official spokesman, river water would be shifted to pond area to minimise the impact of floods.

Superintendent engineer irrigation department Ashraf Bhatti and XEN Taunsa Barrage Mehr Riaz paid visit to western edge of Taunsa Barrage. The Federal Flood Commission (FFC) Tuesday said the River Indus was flowing in low flood at Chashma and the River Kabul in medium flood stage at Warsak-Nowshera Reach.

According to daily FFC report, all other main rivers, including Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej, were flowing normal.

The actual river flows and reservoir elevations indicate that the combined live water storage in Tarbela, Chashma and Mangla reservoirs was 2.689 MAF, which was 19.65 percent of the maximum combined live storage capacity of 13.683 MAF.

Meanwhile, the westerly wave trough continued to prevail over Kashmir and adjoining areas with seasonal low over northeastern Balochistan. Moderate moist currents from the Arabian Sea were penetrating into sub-mountainous areas of Punjab and Kashmir up to 5000 feet with presently no moisture incursions from the Bay of Bengal (India).

According to the Flood Forecasting Division Lahore, scattered thunderstorm/rain with isolated heavy falls were expected over Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Lahore divisions of the Punjab, including the upper catchments of rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi & Sutlej in next 24 hours.

Isolated thunderstorm/rain was also likely over Faisalabad, Sargodha, Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan divisions (Punjab), and Sibbi and Zhob divisions (Balochistan) during the same period.

The predicted rains might generate moderate flooding in local nullahs (tributaries of rivers Chenab & Ravi), the FFD said. In the next 48 hours scenario, moderate rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls might occur over the upper catchments of all major rivers (except River Indus) including north and northeastern Punjab.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has also reported a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) event in Roghali, Golain valley, Chitral in the afternoon of July 7, which resulted in damages to a road leading to Golain valley, besides damages to few houses, bridges and a micro hydel power station.

No loss of life has yet been reported.

The PMD said temperature in Chitral Valley was likely to remain high during the ongoing week which would result into enhanced melt rate of glaciers that might further trigger high flows in the rivers.

With regard to significant rainfall activity, the FFD, Lahore predicted one or two very heavy falls over the upper catchments of rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej, including north and northeastern Punjab during the week.