Residents clear debris of a damaged house due to a heavy monsoon rainfall on the outskirts of Quetta on July 5, 2022. — AFP

Food crisis in Balochistan due to road blockades amid flash flooding

by Pakistan News
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Residents clear debris of a damaged house due to a heavy monsoon rainfall on the outskirts of Quetta on July 5, 2022. — AFP

CHAMAN: A fresh rain spell has intensified problems for the people in Balochistan, leaving them with less or no food as flash flooding has cut off traffic between Karachi and Quetta, Geo News reported Wednesday.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has said flooding may further aggravate in northeastern and central areas of the province.

Several areas of the province, including Fort Munro, Dhana Sar, Sherani received lashing showers. It has been raining in Harnai, Shahrig and suburban hilly areas for several hours now. The high-level flash flood has cut off Harnai from the rest of the country.

The weather system is causing rains in Dukki, Sanjavi, Mekhtar, Loralai as well. According to the PDMA, there are reports of landslide incidents in Fort Munro and Rakhni.

The PDMA said traffic between Balochistan and Punjab is suspended for the eighth consecutive day in Fort Munro. Efforts are underway to clear the road with the help of heavy machinery, said the PDMA.

Meanwhile, interprovincial traffic between Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also suspended for the eighth day at Dhana Sar.

Commissioner Kalat said there are reports of heavy downpours at many places, including Shah Noorani, Bela and the Quetta-Karachi Highway.

The commissioner said two areas in the Lasbela district are experiencing flooding again.

The government official said the lashing rains have suspended Quetta-Karachi traffic again and Makran is also cut off from Karachi.

Passenger coaches coming from Karachi have been re-routed back to Kalat and Khuzdar, said the commissioner. Similarly, traffic coming from Karachi is being intercepted at Hub and sent back, he said.

The PDMA said the northeastern and south-central regions of the province are likely to receive more showers today. In the event of more downpours, the flooding situation may further be aggravated in northeastern and central areas.

All activities are banned near dams, rivers and picnic points, said the PDMA.

Meantime, flash flood torrents coming from Afghanistan have wreaked havoc in Noshki, Qila Abdullah and Chagai. The flood submerged seven villages, destroyed dozens of houses and washed away fruit gardens and standing crops in Noshki.

As many as five people trapped in the Noshki flood have been rescued by a helicopter. Dozens of flood-hit villages are cut off from Noshki. They were provided with food items by helicopter.

The flood victims living in camps have returned to their dilapidated houses after they were not provided with any facilities.

A highway linking Balochistan to Punjab has been re-opened for traffic.

Over 2,000 trucks loaded with edibles and small vehicles remained stuck in Fort Munro for a whole week, leaving vegetables and fruits spoiled.

The situation has caused a food crisis in Balochistan.

PMD forecasts more rains

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) released an advisory on August 23, forecasting more rains in the country during the week.

The Met office said that a well-marked low pressure located over east Rajasthan, India, is likely to move in the northwest direction and approach Sindh tonight.

“Due to this strong weather system monsoon currents are penetrating in southern and upper parts of the country,” the PMD warned.

Under the influence of this weather system:

  • More rain-wind/thundershowers (with scattered heavy to very heavy falls) are expected in Sindh, south Punjab, south and northeastern Balochistan from August 23-26 with occasional gaps
  • Rain-wind/thundershowers (with isolated heavy falls) are expected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from August 23 (night) to 26 with occasional gaps
  • Moreover, heavy rains may generate urban flooding in Karachi, Hyderabad, Tando Jam, Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Khairpur, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu, Naushahro Feroz, Larkana, Jaccobabad and Sukkur on August 24 and 25
  • Flash flooding is expected in Qilla Saifullah, Quetta, Ziarat, Harnai, Pishin, Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Jhal Magsi, Mosa Khel, Zhob, Sherani, Sibbi, Naseerabad, Bolan, Awaran, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbella and hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan from August 24 to 26
  • Heavy rains may generate urban flooding in Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Lahore and Gujranwala on August 24 and 25
  • Flash flooding is expected in local Nullahs of Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Dir, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Bannu and Kashmir from August 24 to 26
  • Rainfall may trigger landslides in Kashmir, hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Galiyat, Murree, Chillas, Diamir, Gilgit, Hunza, Astore, Ghizer and Skardu during the forecast period.

Death toll in Sindh, Balochistan

Hundreds of people have so far lost their lives in the ongoing floods across the country. Due to the catastrophic impact of rainfall in Balochistan, the death toll in the province has reached 230, with at least five lives lost on Tuesday, according to the PDMA.

The death tally includes 110 men, 55 women, and 65 children.

In Sindh’s Larkana district, more than 200 houses have been ravaged and flooding has claimed the lives of 22 people in the span of three days.

Educational institutions across the province have been closed till August 27.

Due to incessant rains and flooding, the Punjab-Balochistan highway remains closed.

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