Monsoon rains; disaster awaits Balochistan – TBP Editorial

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Meteorological Department has issued warnings for another spell of heavy rainfall in multiple districts of Sindh and Balochistan. The new rain system is likely to enter Balochistan on Saturday and cause torrential rains till Monday. This spell would be the sixth during this monsoon, which has already brought life to a halt in Balochistan.

The fourth spell of torrential rains had wreaked havoc in more than 15 districts of Balochistan which continued till the 11th of August. According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), until the 4th spell, the flash floods had killed 13 people and injured 7 in Balochistan, including two women and three children. 861 houses were destroyed, land contact between Balochistan and Sindh was cut-off as a bridge in Bibi Nani area of Bolan district was washed away in floodwater. Traffic on Makran Coastal Highway was also cut-off due to another damaged bridge near Pasni town of Gwadar district.

The detailed report on the damages of the fifth spell of heavy rainfalls in Balochistan is not published by PDMA, however, according to Dawn News, flash floods in Jhal Magsi district has sub-merged 20 villages destroying all link roads, cutting off the district from rest of the Balochistan. According to reports, Sibi, Nasirabad, Jaffarabad, Subhatpur, Dera Allahyar, Bolan, Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar, Kalat, Mastung, Lasbela and all three districts of Makran division, including Turbat, Gwadar, and Panjgur, have received heavy rains for the last two days.

According to TBP reporters, the recent rail of floodwater had caused multiple death and several injuries in different areas of Balochistan. Several infrastructural installations including a major bridge have been destroyed in Mach town of Bolan district, disconnecting traffic on N-65 highway. The Bibi Nani bridge which was damaged during the previous rains has its embankment depleted once again.

The advisory from Met department warned that Heavy downpour may generate flash flooding in Sibbi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbela, and Dera Ghazi Khan during the period of new spell entering Balochistan. The most worrying news regarding the rainfall is of the filling up of Hub Dam, the spilled water could cause heavy flooding on its drain path. Mirani dam in Turbat, Kech district has only 20 feet remaining from its spill-way. In 2007, due to unusual rainfall and backflow of water from Kech river had caused a historic disaster, destroying several thousand houses in the district.

In a press conference, the Balochistan government spokesperson, Liaqat Shahwani, told media that Naadi River in NaseerAbad district has reached its full capacity and further rains can be a threat to a population of hundred thousand people in the area.

Keeping all the upcoming threats awaiting Balochistan in the aftermath of unusual rain during this monsoon, the question arises how prepared are the people and government departments who heavily rely on unskilled manpower of levies force and disaster management authority, which is the concerned department and supposed to have skilled personnel, in the wake of disasters is seen nowhere near prepared.

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