Pakistan

20 found dead in flood-hit Chitral

ZAHIRUDDIN

CHITRAL: At least 20 bodies were retrieved from water channels on Saturday morning in five villages of Chitral district that had been devastated by flash floods the previous day. Eight of the victims were members of one family of Uthool, a village near Mulkhow.

The raging floodwaters swept away about 200 houses and an identical number of shops across the district, compounding misery in a region that has suffered the most during the ongoing flood disaster traumatising the nation.

The sudden deluge caught the villagers unprepared and they had no time to escape the gushing waters.

The area had been cut off from the rest of the district for the past fortnight after its only road link was washed away at Kuragh.

The eight of the same family who perished were identified as Izharul Haq, Alima Bibi, Anwaz Bibi, Jamila Bibi, Rahimul Haq, Misbahul Haq, Ihtiramul Haq and Ihtishamul Haq.

Haidar Hussain, Khalida Bibi, Shahnaz Bibi, Mehnaz Bibi, Zahid Abbas, Shahria, Naveeda, Javeka, Muhammad Amin, wife of Wali Khan and the wife of Sher Habib died in Saht.

Uthool and Saht have so far suffered the biggest number of dead and injured.

Maulana Javed Hussain, a member-elect of the district council, complained that no official of the local administration had visited the area. “People are facing shortage of food and safe drinking water,” he bemoaned.

He said food could only be airdropped in the affected area because the suspension bridge connecting it with the rest of the country was carried off by furious water channels on Friday evening.

Maulana Javed criticised the lawmakers concerned, saying they had not bothered to even offer some words of comfort to a populace in distress.

According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority, 500 tents and 1,000 food packages weighing 40 tons have been distributed among the survivors.

Meanwhile, military helicopters carried out four sorties in the affected areas on Saturday, evacuated some marooned people and took the body of a child found near Chitral to his native town for burial.

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