Flood devastation in Balochistan: where is the government and the media?

Photo: The Baloch Hal

Source The Baloch Hal
QUETTA: Tens of thousands of people remained marooned as vehicular traffic and train services in the flood affected region remained suspended for the third consecutive day on Saturday.

Almost six districts of Eastern Balochistan received torrential rains and caused flash floods that claimed more than 55 lives so far. The worst affected regions were Barkhan, Sibi, Kohlu, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad.

The local people contested the claims of the officials, particularly of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) that enough relief goods were dispatched or rescue operation carried out.

Train service, power supply and road transport linking with cities and human settlements all around the affected areas remained cut off. However, officials started efforts to repair the damages of Railway track and the main highway. Little progress was witnessed as reopening of normal traffic will take several days, local people opined.

According to reports reaching here, a four year-old baby Banazir and her elder brother six-year-old Shabbir Ahmed died due to water borne diseases in Khoti Khulari area of Bala in Nari Tehsil of Sibi.

Health officials claimed that there was no threat of outbreak of epidemics in the flood affected regions as substantial medicine with medical staff is available.

According to reports, tens of thousands of affected people of Bala Nari, Talli, Baktiarabad, Thri Har, Kohlu, and Barkhan were facing difficulties due to insufficient relief goods, mainly food for survival.

Local residents reached on phone confirmed that 12 persons died in flash floods and their bodies are still lying in the open with no people reaching to help bury the dead in Wazirabad village of Bakhtiarabad in Lehri Tehsil which is worst affected area.

He said around 150 people are trapped in Wazirabad and so far no rescue team had arrived to save human lives. He said that there is no one available for funeral.

Senior most officials from Kohlu have said that the relief goods provided by PDMA were not adequate for the two union councils. He said that three hundred families had been affected and all are living in relief camps.

“One hundred tents, two hundred wheat packets so far had been received,” he complained. He said if immediate steps were not taken it would cause outbreak of diseases.

Chairman National Disaster Management, Lieutenant General Retired, Nadeem Ahmed conducted aerial survey of affected districts. He made a assessment of the death and destruction but he did not share his report with the media as he had kept media people waiting for hours. The media persons boycotted his proposed news conference because he had wasted two full hours of dozens of journalists present there.

Director General of Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Hassan Baloch conceded that the affected areas are too long to access the affected people but he said relief works have been carried out and the Provincial Government sending loaded trucks and helicopters for the affected areas. He said on Saturday 12 loaded trucks with tents, medicines, goods and other necessary items moved toward Kohlu, Barkhan and Sibi.

He claimed that around 50 thousands people had been affected which was contrary of the claim of local people.

According to reports reaching from Dera Murad Jamali, a large number of people started moving towards the safer places on higher ground owing to threats of flash floods which is moving towards Pet Feeder and Rabi Canal. If the flash flood hit the banks of Pat Feeder and Rabi Canal, the situation will further deteriorated inundating the area more severely and flood devastation would be great, official sources opined.

Earlier, seventy villages were submerged near Rabi Canal while Gahgi band had busted. The people are living under the open skies with no relief.
According to one report, there were 50 snake bite cases were reported from one village and there was no snake bite serum available in the local hospital. The Provincial Health Directorate rushed the supplies to the flood affected regions, officials claimed.

Local people were shocked that the Federal Government had not announce any substantial financial assistance for the flood affected people, those who lost their lives or those who lost their entire belongings, food stock, household goods and valuables in flash floods.

Torrential Rains and Floods Claim 43 Lives across Pakistan

At least 43 people are believed dead and many more are missing due to flash floods unleashed by torrential rains in different parts of Pakistan.

Floods hit several villages in Sibi, Barkhan, and Kohlu districts of Baluchistan province, killing 30 people including women and children and washed away thousands of mud houses. 50 people were also reported to have been swept away whose bodies haven’t been recovered yet.

Communication from theses areas with the rest of the country has been bad as road links are washed out, communication and electricity systems in these areas have been affected badly.

A breach in Tanga Dam resulted in six villages submerged in water.

In Lahore 5 people were killed including a child. Over 300 houses in Southern Punjab were flooded in water and people have to seek refuge on the roof-top.

Rescue works have been started in the effected areas. Frontier Corps spokesman in Baluchistan said that bodies of 15 people who were drowned in the flood water in Barkhan area were retrieved while more than 30 people were still missing. `Contingents of FC have arrived in affected areas to help in the relief activities`, he said.



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