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Northwest Pak on high alert amid fears of fresh floods

Authorities in northwest Pakistan were on high alert on Tuesday for fresh floods though officials engaged in relief operations were optimistic that another wave of rains would not pose as great a threat as the earlier deluge.



Peshawar: Authorities in northwest
Pakistan were on high alert on Tuesday for fresh floods though
officials engaged in relief operations were optimistic that
another wave of monsoon rains would not pose as great a
threat as the earlier deluge.

Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest has been
hit hardest by Pakistan’s worst floods in 80 years and the
unprecedented rains and floods have affected millions in the
region.

Many parts of the province, including the Swat
valley, continue to be cut off as the waters washed away roads
and bridges.
"The Kabul and Indus rivers are in high flood but
there is no threat to the population as of now," said an
official of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority.

Asked about the fresh rains this afternoon in
Peshawar, he said: "We aren?t worried about it as it is rains
in the mountainous areas that create problems for us. The
floods in rivers are caused by rains in the mountains where
they originate.

The military and aid organisations scrambled to
provide food, water and healthcare to millions of affected
people after weather improved in the region.

Officials said 50 more deaths had been recorded in the
region since the weekend. Nearly 1,700 people have died in the
worst floods to hit Pakistan since 1929

Pakistan Army helicopters resumed rescue operations
to airlift trapped people in Madiyan, Bahrain, Kalam and other
inaccessible areas of Swat district after weather conditions
improved today, military officials said.

A total of 23 military helicopters are participating
in rescue and relief operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Bad weather in Malakand division, particularly in
Swat, had resulted in the suspension of helicopter services
over the past few days.

The International Organization for Migration today
distributed 500 tents donated by the UK Department for
International Development.
The group’s trucks drove through heavy rain on
flood-damaged roads to deliver the tents to destitute families
in a village in Charsadda district.

IOM said it had also received 14,000 blankets and
1,153 rolls of plastic sheet from the USAID and these items
will be distributed to victims identified by village elders.

"The community knows who is most vulnerable and who
most needs the aid. The token system also ensures crowd
control and minimizes the risk of looting by people who are
desperate," said IOM Pakistan Emergency Officer Izora Mutya
Maskun.

Charsadda, which lies at the confluence of five rivers
flowing into the Indus valley from the mountains of Kashmir
and Afghanistan, has sustained terrible damage from the
floods.

With no sign of the rains abating, the district is
bracing itself for further destruction of property and
livelihoods.

Jan Akbar Khan, whose home in the town of Charsadda
survived but was flooded with over two metres of water on July
29, said people felt helpless in the face of the floods.

"It is not like an earthquake. You can see it coming,
but there is nothing that you can do about it," he said.

Vast expanses of water have engulfed Charsadda’s
villages and lush farmlands. Hundreds of acres of peach and
pear orchards and sugarcane fields now lie under a metre of
water.

Sections of the six-lane highway linking Islamabad
with Peshawar are crumbling as flood waters have eroded its
foundations and bridges.

Pakistan’s worst floods have affected over 14 million
people. The flood waters are now flowing south from
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to Punjab and Sindh provinces.

PTI

From Zee News

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