Heavy rainfall has led to severe flooding in Balochistan’s Kharan and Panjgur districts, resulting in the destruction of numerous houses and leaving hundreds stranded. The flash floods have brought havoc to both urban and rural areas with the raging waters from drains and rivers flooding homes.
In Kharan, areas including Shelag, Jozhan Kulan, Old Gazi Road, and Godmaal have been significantly affected by floodwaters. Residents have been forced to evacuate children and women to safer locations. Still, despite their efforts, thousands of homes have succumbed to the floodwaters.
In the neighbouring district of Panjgur, the city is reportedly encircled by floodwaters, cutting off ground connections and leaving residents marooned. Local authorities, including Deputy Commissioner Amjad Hussain Soomro, have urged the public to exercise caution amidst the ongoing crisis.
It is not the first time Balochistan has experienced such destruction due to heavy rain and floods. Last year, a wave of death and devastation swept across the region when monsoon rains led to flash floods, destroying entire villages and displacing thousands. Infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and communication networks, were washed away, isolating Balochistan from the rest of the region and leaving thousands without shelter.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) reported that last year’s floods claimed at least 235 lives. The actual figure, however, was likely much higher due to reporting restrictions and inaccessibility to severely affected areas. The government’s inadequate response and recovery efforts following the disaster compounded the plight of the affected individuals.
The recent weather developments in Balochistan are a stark reminder of the region’s vulnerability to such calamities. In the last 24 hours, the Meteorological Department has recorded significant rainfall in various areas. Notably, Usta Muhammad experienced 34mm of rain, Zhob 24mm, and lesser but substantial amounts in Quetta, Lasbela, Sibi, Kalat, Lasbela, Awaran, Zhob, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Barkhan, Loralai, Khuzdar, Noshki, Washuk, Turbat, Panjgur, Gwadar, and other regions.
The department has predicted further rainfall in the next 24 hours in Quetta, Rakhshan, Sibi, and Zhob Divisions, which could aggravate the situation. Already, the surging waters of the Kech Nihing River have swept away more than 15 vehicles.
As Balochistan braces for these adverse weather conditions, it is imperative for the authorities to respond swiftly and effectively. Without prompt and decisive action, the region may once again face a humanitarian crisis reminiscent of last year’s catastrophe.