An aerial shot of the destruction caused by heavy rains and flash floods in Balochistan, on July 30, 2022. — Twitter/CMShehbaz

Balochistan rains kill more than 130 as govt vows ‘not to abandon’ people

by Pakistan News
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An aerial shot of the destruction caused by heavy rains and flash floods in Balochistan, on July 30, 2022. — Twitter/CMShehbaz

QUETTA: The relentless rains in Balochistan have so far killed over 130 and the toll is expected to rise as rescue operations continue with the government vowing that it will “not abandon” the people.

The local administration and the armed forces are carrying out rescue activities in the province, but the flash floods have completely inundated large areas, hampering the operations.

In the latest statistics, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Balochistan, said that among the 136 deceased, 56 were men, 47 children, and 33 women, while 70 people have been injured.

The PDMA’s report showed that the rains damaged 13,535 houses and completely destroyed 3,406 homes, and the heavy downpour also inflicted damage to 16 bridges and 640 kilometres of roads.

Over 20,000 cattle have been killed in the flash floods, eight dam embankments have been damaged, and crops on 198,000-acre land have been destroyed.

‘Rescue takes time’

In conversation with Geo News, Balochistan Government Spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah said that storms also hit the United States, and the province is no exception, adding that “rescue operations take time”.

The spokesperson said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has visited Balochistan and the provincial government is in contact with the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the authorities seek to provide relief to the people.

In the coming months, Shah said the government will devise a long-term plan for dealing with rains. “We are rallying the non-government organisations (NGOs) and will not abandon the people.”

She added that the rescue operations have been completed to a large extent, while relief operations are underway. The spokesperson claimed that till the rescue and relief operations are underway, government officials’ salaries will be deposited to the relief fund.

Shah also said that the Karachi-Quetta road — which was heavily damaged due to the heavy rains — has finally been restored for traffic.

PM visits Balochistan again

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who visited Balochistan two days back, has arrived in Quetta again to review relief activities in the flood-affected areas.

On his way to Quetta, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz briefed the prime minister about the relief activities being carried out.

The prime minister is scheduled to visit a tent village established for the flood-affected people in the Khusnoob area of Qila Saifullah.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said that federal and provincial governments were committed to the complete rehabilitation of flood-affected people.

The chief minister also lauded the role of the Pakistan Army in relief and rescue activities.

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