Pakistan: Six die in Balochistan storm, rain

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, June 25: Four girls and two fishermen were killed when strong winds and heavy rain lashed the Balochistan coast on Monday. Eight fishermen are missing. Reports of heavy rain were also received from Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Dera Murad Jamali, Sibi, Chaghi, Naushki, Turbat, Panjgur and Khuzdar besides other parts of the province.

The two fishermen drowned when their vessel capsized in high tide and the four girls were washed away by hill torrents following torrential rain in the outskirts of Pasni township.

Sources said a reservoir built by local people for storing rainwater was destroyed. The rain and hill torrents destroyed crops in many parts of Pasni and adjoining areas.

Dozens of fishing vessels capsized in the coastal belt from Ormara to Jiwani, the sources said.

In the wake of forecasts about a cyclone likely to hit the Balochistan coast some time on Monday night, officials have declared a high alert along the Makran coast.

The rain affected normal life in central and northern Makran where seasonal rivers are in high floods. A strict watch is being kept on the Mirani dam where water level has risen to dangerous level. As a safety measure, water is being released through the spillway.

The crisis management cell of the Balochistan government has started evacuating people from areas close to rivers and downstream of the Mirani dam.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting was held in Turbat on Monday to review the situation. Officials confirmed at the meeting that traffic on the Coastal Highway linking Karachi with Gwadar had been suspended.


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