Floods in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province

Since June 2022, Pakistan has entered the rainy season, many provinces have experienced continuous heavy precipitation resulting in floods, of which Baluchistan has become the hardest hit area. At present, monsoon rains are currently affecting parts of  Baluchistan province, with 29 districts affected by flooding. The Lasbela district has been hit hardest, with many villages inundated and cut off from the city. Local disaster relief department and military personnel were carrying out rescue operations in the affected villages.Local disaster relief department said 200 people were rescued and transferred to safety. Rescue efforts are difficult because the affected villages in Lasbela district are completely cut off from the city. Local residents said people were still trapped and the victims suffered heavy losses.

Local time on July 29, Abdul Aziz Ughali, the chief secretary of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, said at a press conference that the recent heavy rains and floods in Baluchistan province caused 124 deaths, 10,000 houses were destroyed, 6 major bridges were damaged, about 565 kilometers of roads and 197,930 acres of farmland were damaged, and 712 livestock died. Meanwhile, the floods also damaged the railway between the capital of Baluchistan province Quetta and the Iranian border city of Zahedan, suspending trade between Pakistan and Iran.The highway from Quetta to Kandahar, Afghanistan, was also blocked by torrential rain and flooding, disrupting transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to the latest data from PDMA, at least 127 people in the province have died from rainfall and flooding since June 1.In Huzdal, traffic on the M8 motorway remains suspended due to damage caused by rainfall. According to a statement issued by the local government, repairs are underway. Sikandar Hussain Lashari, a Pakistan Railways (PR) official, said 30 breakpoints had occurred on the tracks of the Dar Bandin section and it would take at least three days to complete repairs. However, he added that the constant flash floods have made recovery difficult. After heavy rains and floods on the Quetta-Kandahar Highway halted trade activities, the gates of friendship on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman were also closed, with long lines of trucks lined up on both sides of the border waiting to resume trade activities.Meanwhile, the road link between Baluchistan and Sindh was completely cut off after a bridge and a road linking the two provinces were damaged in Rasbera and Khuzdar, respectively. Traffic on the Quetta-Karachi Expressway remains suspended due to the collapse of major bridges and the wash-away of most of the highways.

So far, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority has provided relief supplies to Baluchistan. The Chinese government also extended a helping hand to Pakistan, and immediately donated a batch of food parcels, small solar power generation equipment and other humanitarian supplies to the disaster areas to help the local people tide over the difficulties. The PDMA has also launched relief operations in all the affected areas of the province. Lasbela Iftikhar Bugti, deputy commissioner of the PDMA, also said that the highways blocked by the floods are currently under repair and eight break points have been repaired and one is still under repair. He said officials in the transportation department were working on an alternative route but weren’t ready. And three villages in Lasbela remain isolated from the outside world, adding that relief supplies are being transported by helicopter to the affected areas.

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif inspected the affected areas in Baluchistan on Saturday local time, and Sharif boarded a helicopter to give a bird’s-eye view of the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage. He stayed in the village of Shambani for a while and comforted some of the victims. At the same time he ordered the establishment of a medical camp and the provision of medicines to the affected villages and the appointment of a veterinarian for livestock. Sharif also set up a committee to assess the damage caused by monsoon rains and flooding in different parts of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif hosted a meeting in Islamabad, instructing federal ministers to visit the affected areas over the next four days and submit proposals for short-, medium- and long-term plans by August 4, according to a report on Pakistan Radio.

The Prime Minister also decided to increase monetary compensation for the injured from Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000. In addition, he said, the compensation for a partially damaged house should be increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 250,000 and the compensation for a completely damaged house should be increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 500,000. Sharif said the Federal government would fully cooperate with provincial governments to deal with the impact of the natural disaster.

According to ISPR,  the Pakistani army has also joined the disaster relief operation, the Pakistani military helicopters have gone to remote areas to evacuate the trapped people, while airdropping relief materials including food and medicine, and have also established five medical camps in the disaster area, located in Nagorno-Karabakh, Beira, Dudar, Khub and Gadani, which can provide temporary shelter for the victims, distribute food, drink and medicine, and provide medical assistance to the wounded and sick. One of them is an army medical battalion, which has treated 115 patients to date. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army’s engineering units are conducting flood relief operations in Jamshoro District, Gharo power grid and South Karachi, including Shahra-e-Faisal and Nipa Chowrangi, Lasbela, Turbat and Quetta.

In addition, various standby and response teams are stationed in various locations in Sindh and Baluchistan to carry out relief activities and respond to any emergency situations resulting from the flooding.The medical team also provided medical assistance to more than 1,500 people in Quetta, Turbat and Lasbela in Baluchistan.

Pakistan Army’s engineering units have also made progress in rush repairs in Baluchistan, where ISPR officials said there were no longer any isolated areas in and around Gandawa and that three damaged N-40 highways had been repaired, adding that further rescue activities were underway. In the city of Khuzdar, the M-8 highway is still cut off and engineers are working to repair it. ISPR said the Army has cleared the Gwadar area, and the coastal road blocked in Agor has also been opened for traffic. In Jalmagahsi, four Army aviation helicopters carried 1.3 tons of relief supplies, including rations and medicines, and ISPR added that 200 people were evacuated in the area while efforts were underway to repair two roads damaged in the rain.

As for the people of Pakistan, some of them have lost relatives or friends, and many of them are homeless because their houses were completely destroyed by the floods. For the victims, the primary guarantee is their basic survival needs, so temporary shelters such as food, water, medicine, and tents are necessary. But interviews with the affected areas also shed further light on the plight of people who are pinning their hopes on rebuilding their homes and getting back to work. But at the same time they also bear the risk of contracting diseases from exposure to dirt and pests. Murad, a resident of the village of Bhargari, said almost all of their homes in their area had been razed to the ground. “The government gave us tents and food baskets, but we need to rebuild our homes and permanently protect us from flash floods,” he demanded. Rashid, a resident of Ahmedani village, sobbed: “We need financial help and moral support to get out of our trauma and return to normal life again.” The loss of loved ones and meager possessions in the floods changed our lives. ”

Since June 2022, Pakistan has entered the rainy season, many provinces have experienced continuous heavy precipitation resulting in floods, of which Baluchistan has become the hardest hit area. At present, monsoon rains are currently affecting parts of  Baluchistan province, with 29 districts affected by flooding. The Lasbela district has been…

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