Pakistan

Heavy rains wreak havoc in Balochistan

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SALEEM SHAHID

QUETTA: Torrential rains played havoc in Quetta and other areas of northern, eastern and central Balochistan where two people were killed and at least six injured, while several mud houses were washed away and landslides took place at a number of places on Thursday.

Heavy rains that started on Wednesday night kept lashing Quetta and adjoining areas throughout the day, paralysing life in the city, as all main roads were flooded with rainwater and sewage after the sewerage system collapsed.

Heavy rains and landslides were also reported in Pishin, Qila Abdullah Chaman, Khanozai, Ziarat, Muslim Bagh, Zhob, Harnai, Mastung, Kalat, Noshki, Kuchlak, Hanna and UraK.

Several areas faced flash floods which washed away mud houses. Some areas were cut off from rest of the country as traffic was suspended because of landslides and inundation of roads.

Several roads in Bolan, Sibi, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad, Harnai, Ziarat, Rod Mullazai, Pishin, Noshki, Mastung and adjoin districts were flooded and storm water streams overflowed.

Seasonal rivers, including Bolan and Balanari, were in high flood after heavy rains in their catchment areas.

According to the Dawn Correspondent in Dera Murad Jamali, heavy rains continued in Nasirabad division.

At least six people were injured when walls and roofs of mud houses collapsed because of the rains.

Two men, Abdul Baqi and Arshad Ali, died when lighting hit them in Goth Bashkia area of Balanari in Bolan district.

The roofs and walls of several mud houses in the slums of Quetta also collapsed.

Almost all the main city roads were inundated and adequate number of rescue and sanitary workers was not seen.

The Quetta Metropolitan Corporation had not ensured cleaning of the major drains and mud and garbage resulted in rainwater flowing on the roads and streets.

“The Met Office had forecast the heavy rains but the local government did not carry out de-silting of the storm water drains and cleaning of the sewerage system,” a citizen, Shahbaz, said.

The rainwater entered shops, houses, schools and hospitals, causing hardship to people, especially because of absence of the sanitary staff of the metropolitan corporation.

Official sources said the corporation had over 900 sanitary workers. They said about 450 Muslim sanitary workers had been recruited by political parties from Pishin, Chaman, Muslim Bagh and other areas and some of them did not attend their duties in Quetta but received salary. The sources said the situation regarding the workers from other communities was also not very different.

The Met Office advised farmers in the province to keep themselves abreast of daily weather reports and forecast to minimise damage to crops during the Rabi harvesting season.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2015

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