8 more dead, hundreds stranded by monsoon rains, floods

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The monsoon rains continue to wreak havoc in Balochistan where at least 8 people were killed in the recent rains and hundreds were stranded as the roads were washed away and bridges collapsed, leaving the traffic suspended for hours. The met department has predicted heavy rains in the next few days in Balochistan and several areas of Sindh.

The recent rains in Balochistan have caused major problems for people in every corner. Flash floods have destroyed civilian settlements, breached dams, and caused houses to collapse and roads to wash away, putting the day-to-day activities of life to a screeching halt. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority has confirmed that over 100 deaths in different areas of Balochistan are due to rain-related incidents, but the death toll is suspected to be higher.

At least 300 people, including women and children, have been stranded in the Oraki region of district Lasbela after the floods inundated the villages and washed away mud houses, forcing people to live under the open sky. Despite 24 hours, the local administration has failed to save the people that are reportedly running out of food and water. The issue was also brought to the notice of the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Quddus Bizenjo, who ordered the relevant authorities to rescue the stranded.

The PDMA said that two helicopters will be used to evacuate the area and rescue the people stuck in there.

The traffic between Quetta and Karachi was suspended on Tuesday after heavy rains washed away three bridges along the main highway connecting Sindh and Balochistan. The Lasbela administration has told the media that the Quetta-Karachi highway was washed away five times in district Lasbela. The Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged the government to construct a new bridge as the old one collapsed right in the middle due to the heavy rains. The ICCI also asked the power companies to restore power in Hub Chowki that was cut off three days ago.

The Khuzdar-Ratodero highway was also affected due to the floods and landslides in the Karkh region, cutting off the link between Sindh and Khuzdar. The floods in Karkh washed away dozens of mud houses and entered civilian settlements.

The Baloch Yakjehti Committee asked for the authorities to impose an emergency in Balochistan in the wave of the recent developments. The group said in a media statement that the monsoon rains have wreaked havoc in Balochistan – hundreds of people have died and thousands are stranded with nowhere to go. The victims are left at the mercy of fate and the government’s negligence is only aggravating the situation, they said.

Drawing a stark comparison, the BYC said that when two dozen people were killed after being trapped in their vehicles in Murree during the snowfall, the entire state apparatus was mobilized to help the victims. But now that hundreds have lost their lives and thousands are stranded in Balochistan, the government has turned a deaf ear to their pleas. The group said that the media has also turned a blind eye to the havoc monsoon rains have caused in Balochistan.

The Baloch Yakjehti Committee said that numerous civilian settlements have been inundated and the people stuck there are in dire need of help. The group appealed to the provincial and federal authorities to take immediate notice of the situation and rescue these people.

The recent rains have exposed the reality of Balochistan’s mediocre infrastructure, especially the highways and bridges, which were washed away in flash floods. Balochistan’s roads have developed a reputation for being notoriously dangerous. The highways witness thousands of fo cases every year, killing hundreds and leaving numerous others with lifelong crippling injuries.

According to a report published by the Balochistan Youth and Civil Society, 804 road accidents occurred in Balochistan that killed 134 and wounded 1248 people. Most of these accidents were reported along the Quetta-Karachi highway, which has become the proverbial “killer highway” in Balochistan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif laid the foundation stone for the project to double the Quetta-Karachi highway from Kuchlak to Khuzdar. The project is part of the larger 814km N-25 highway from Chaman to Karachi, which is expected to be completed within one-and-a-half years. But thousands are expected to lose their lives in deadly accidents before the project is completed.

SourceTBP

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