Pakistan: Rescue operations in Balochistan continuing unabatedly

RAWALPINDI June 27 APP: On directions by President General Pervez Musharraf and the Federal Government, the Armed Forces of Pakistan carried out hectic relief operations in Balochistan Province as a result of devastation caused by Cyclone and heavy rains. Relief efforts are still continuing at full pace despite severe weather constraints. Giving details of the relief efforts the spokesman of ISPR said that Frontier Corps Jawans evacuated 4,500 people from Mulaband to Singar in Gwadar district. Troops of Frontier Corps in another operation evacuated 250 persons who were stranded in flood hitareas in Turbat, which is cut off from rest of the country. Efforts are being made to rescue other marooned people in small villages/hamlets. In addition an Infantry Battalion stationed at Gwadar is also carrying out rescue and relief operation in their area of responsibility and helping the people. Spokesman said there are 11 Army MI-17 and Bell helicopters ready for relief effort, six at Quetta, four at Multan and one at Sukkur. They will be despatched to disaster area as soon as weather clears with relief goods and medical support. Two C-130 aircrafts of PAF are ready for relief efforts at Rawalpindi. C-130 aircrafts will be sent to Turbat and Quetta when weather clears. Meanwhile Pakistan Navy carried out its wide scale search and rescue operation on second day also. Today, the focus of operation was shifted from open sea to Balochistan's coastal strip and adjacent areas. Pakistan Navy ships, Helicopters, and Fokker aircraft took part in the operation.

Navy helicopters rescued marooned people and provided food and medicines to 350 people at Agore, some 180 KM from Karachi. Pakistan Navy's Marine Force have provided 150 women and children with food at Pasni and rescued people from Bozi Pass, Basol Canal, Khori Canal and Shadi Khor taking them to safer places. It may be mentioned that search and rescue operation by Pakistan Navy saved the lives of 98 persons on Tuesday from high seas. FWO construction teams have been moved out to rehabilitate and repair coastal highway which has been damaged extensively and many bridges have been washed away. The spokesman said that situation at Mirani dam is critical where the water is flowing above the danger level. Army Engineers teams are ready to breach the bund if required to save the dam. These teams shall be transported to the site on June 28. The Armed Forces, like always, will continue to help the people of Balochistan in this hour of need and ensure that all support is rendered to the needy people. Full assistance shall be provided to relief efforts being directed and undertaken by the Federal and Provincial governments and no effort shall be spared in this regard, the spokesman added.