QUETTA           -          Severe flooding in Balochistan after the monsoon rains over the weekend wreaked havoc in the province, killing at least nine people and rendering hundreds homeless. 

According to provincial government’s spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani, nine people lost their lives and 17 others were injured in rain and flood-related incidents in Balochistan. Over 300 villages are flooded, he said.

Pakistan Army jawans were busy in rescue and relief activities in the province. 

In an overnight flood in Khuzdar Sunday night, hundreds of residents lost their homes, cattle and possessions. “At 4am, the flood water entered our houses and took everything along with it,” a resident said.

He revealed that the losses incurred by each resident were worth million of rupees. “This was our hard earned money,” he said, demanding that the government compensate the people for their losses and give them food and shelter.

A rescue and relief operation is underway by the province’s government and Levies Force officers. Shahwani has said that Rs350 million has been released to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority to deal with the situation.

In Khuzdar’s Maula Chatok, hundreds of tourists are stuck because of rains. 

They had gone to the recreational spot for the weekend.

In Gwadar, the Dosi Nullah flooded along the Makran Coastal Highway. A 30-foot crack that had formed has been filled and traffic has resumed.

An under-construction bridge collapsed in Pasni due to strong currents near Badok. In Kohlu, some areas flooded and flooding in the Manjhara Nullah led to contact with Kohlu being cut off.

Another bridge near the Makran Costal Highway was destroyed because of the water due to which transport between Gwadar, Lasbela and Karachi has been suspended. On August 7, the Pakistan Meteorological Department had warned that the monsoon system will likely generate flash flooding in Balochistan. It had advised authorities to remain alert.

Another polio case surfaces in Balochistan

Another polio case was reported in Balochistan on Monday, taking the provincial tally to 16 in the current ongoing year. 

The case was reported in Quetta, where a 20-month-old boy was confirmed with the virus. His samples were collected on July 25 and 26.

The child infected with the crippling disease has never been administered the anti-polio vaccine, said sources. Last month, a police case was reported in Chaman, where a 17-month-old girl was confirmed with the virus.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government of Pakistan resumed polio vaccination activities on July 20 with a campaign in selected districts after a four-month suspension of all vaccination activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Districts covered in the first round were Faisalabad, Attock, South Waziristan, and parts of Karachi and Quetta. Almost 800,000 children under the age of five were vaccinated during the campaign. It was learnt that the first polio immunization campaign in the country during COVID-19 pandemic has achieved desired results as 94 percent of the targeted children were administered polio drops during the drive.

The campaign came to an end in a peaceful manner without witnessing any violent incident as law enforcement authorities provided adequate security to the volunteers during the immunization process.