PESHAWAR          -        In Karachi 19 more people lost their lives in various rain-related incidents on Friday, bringing the total number of causalities in the port city up to 50. Nearly all major roads of the city, including I.I.Chungrigar Road, University Road, Shahrah-e-Faisal remained underwater, hampering routine life in the provincial capital.

Nine more people lose their lives in Punjab and at least six were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as unprecedented rainfall across the country has continued to cause devastation in all provinces.

In Kot Radha Kishan, five people were killed as a roof of a house collapsed in Bhotan Poroman area, said rescue sources. The bodies were retrieved from the debris and were shifted to a nearby hospital for autopsy.

A second roof collapse incident was reported in Gujranwala after heavy downpour. Rescue sources said two children lost their lives in Tehsil Wazirabad the roof caved in.

Meanwhile, two people died and three to four were trappedA under the debris after a roof of a house situated at Lahore’s Bandar Road collapsed. Rescue teams reached the spot and carrying relief activities to recover the bodies and the injured.

In KP at least 16 persons were killed and 18 others were injured when heavy rain and flash flood washed away makeshift houses in Madian area of Swat and and Kalash area of Chitral in midnight Thursday and Friday.

Local sources said flood water entered in houses in Shagram and Terat where six persons have been killed and 16 others have been missing. Police said four bodies have been retrieved so far and 12 other people have been recovered in injured condition. The injured persons, including women and children, have been shifted to hospital.

Police said search for six more people, who went missing in the flood, is continuing. As a result of the flash flood, four bridges, a mosque and two schools were also washed away. Police and Rescue 1122 teams are continuing rescue activities in the affected areas.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives and damages in floods in Shagram and Terat nullahs.

The Chief Minister directed the rescue authorities to accelerate rescue activities and search the missing people. He said the affected people must be provided food and other needed items on priority basis and temporary shelter must be arranged for them. He said the provincial government will extend every possible help to the affected people during this difficult time.

Meanwhile flash floods in Chitral after heavy rain have damaged bridges and roads. A concrete bridge in the Reshan area was washed away in flood after which the only road leading to Upper Chitral was disconnected with the rest of the country.

The road leading to Peshawar is also closed for all kinds of traffic at three points from Lowari Tunnel to Baradam. Land sliding on roads from mountains is also continuing due to flood.

High-level flood has also been recorded in Gul Nullah in Chitral Town. Officials said flood has also caused damages in Rambor village of Kalash valley. Four houses and a road have been damaged in the village.

Flood has caused damages in Booni, Charoon, Zeit, Reshan and Brep areas of Upper Chitral and Janjeriat Koh, Sheshi Koh, Arsun, Barnas, Bradam, Ishriat and Rambor areas of Lower Chitral.

Seven people Friday drowned in a Nullah at village Sazeen of Upper Kohistan when a flash flood destroyed 17 houses and a mosque in the area.

Sources said continuous torrential rain all over Hazara division triggered flash flood which destroyed dozens of houses, roads and thoroughfares and land sliding also blocked Karakoram Highway (KKH) at several places from Mansehra to Kohistan districts.

Provinces asked to adopt preventive measures to avoid flood losses

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has asked the provincial authorities to take preventive measures to avoid loss of life and damage to property as Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) forecast rains and thunderstorms in most parts of the country from Saturday to Monday.        

According to NDMA weather advisory, PMD has predicted that heavy downpour may generate flash flooding in Sibbi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbella and Dera Ghazi Khan and existing urban flooding/water logging in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Mirpurkhas and Badin may be aggravated on Sunday and Monday.

NDMA has asked National Highway Authority (NHA), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and Communication and Works Departments of respective provinces, regions to remain vigilant in restoring road links for ensuring smooth flow of traffic.

Tourists should be apprised, availability of emergency services staff be ensured to cope with any eventuality besides sharing weather updates with WAPDA twice a day to avoid losses.

The advisory said Met office has informed that another monsoon rain bearing system is likely to enter in Sindh on Saturday and rain/wind-thundershowers, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu,  Tharparker, Nagarparker, Mirpurkhas, Islam Kot, Umar Kot, Sanghar, Sukkur and Larkana from Saturday (evening) to Monday.  

Rain-thundershowers with isolated heavy falls are also expected in Lasbella, Khuzdar, Awaran, Barkhan, Zhob, Musa Khel, Loralai, Kohlu and Sibbi during Sunday and Monday. Rain-thundershower are also expected in Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanpur, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Khanewal and Sahiwal during the period. In case of mass gathering/rescue operations, the advisory said, COVID-19 guidelines must be followed strictly to avoid transmission of this pandemic among the mass interactions.