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Monday, July 15, 2024  
08 Muharram 1446  

Floods death toll soars past 1,000, PM Shehbaz calls multi-party meeting tomorrow

Countries extend support for Pakistan; premier to visit flood-hit areas in Balochistan today
A boy crosses a flooded street, with the help of a wire fastened on both ends, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda on August 27. Reuters/File
A boy crosses a flooded street, with the help of a wire fastened on both ends, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda on August 27. Reuters/File
Flood victims receive boiled rice from relief workers, after taking refuge on a motorway, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda on August 27. Reuters/File
Flood victims receive boiled rice from relief workers, after taking refuge on a motorway, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda on August 27. Reuters/File
A volunteer paddles an inflatable tube as he evacuates a flood victim with his belongings, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda on August 27. Reuters/File
A volunteer paddles an inflatable tube as he evacuates a flood victim with his belongings, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda on August 27. Reuters/File
Official brief Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a visit to the flood-hit Haji Alladino village of Jafarabad district in Balochistan. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News
Official brief Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a visit to the flood-hit Haji Alladino village of Jafarabad district in Balochistan. Screengrab via YouTube/Aaj News

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s flash floods caused by incessant rains since mid-June have so far killed more than 1,000 people and affected more than 33 million population, prompting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to summon the meeting of the multi-party confab excluding the PTI on Monday (tomorrow).

Sources said all the parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement and government allies have been invited to the meeting which would be held in the Prime Minister’s house at 3pm. The central leadership of the country would deliberate upon the damages caused by recent heavy rains, which have pummeled the country from north to south.

Key developments so far

  • 1,033 killed, including 348 children, 207 women and 456 men
  • PM Shehbaz announces Rs10b grant for Balochistan
  • Former PM Imran to host telethon tomorrow at 9:30pm
  • 110 stranded people evacuated from Khawazakhela to Kanju Cantonment
  • COAS Gen Qamar to visit Sindh today

Relief work continues

Pakistan Army aviation helicopters flew four sorties to rescue stranded people.

“At least 110 stranded people have been evacuated from Khawazakhela to Kanju Cantonment, Swat,” the ISPR said. “These stranded people are being provided meals and necessary medical care.”

The statement added that stranded people who were struck at a mountain top in Kumrat would be evacuated by army helicopters especially flown from Kamju cantonment Swat as soon as the weather permits.

It said that hours later the first team of Pakistan Army troops had reached the Khana Bodosh site where these families were struck. “The follow-up army troops have crossed Barikot. Pakistan army aviation helicopters have flown and are on their way to the location.”

The ISPR also shared contact details of a Flood Relief Control Centre established by the Dir Scouts.

It urged people to reach out to the Dir scouts Flood Relief control room on the following numbers in case of emergency or assistance is required:

  • Mobile 1: 03091311310
  • Mobile 2: 03235780067
  • Landline: 0945-825526

PM Shehbaz announces Rs10b for Balochistan

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that the federal government would provide an Rs10 billion of grant to Balochistan from its share for the rehabilitation of the province.

“It’s up to them how they use the amount,” he told reporters after reviewing rescue and relief activities in Haji Alladino village of Jafarabad district in Balochistan.

The Balochistan chief secretary and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority director general would brief the premier on the relief provided to the flood affected people and the restoration of the infrastructure.

PM Shehbaz would also have an aerial view of flood affected villages of Hafeezbad, Gaibi Khan, Qadirpur and Shikarpur.

The gas supply to the Quetta has been cut off for over five days, media reported and most of the restaurants were out of food supplies and are shut down because of the shortage of fuel supplies.

Flood damages since June 14 as recorded by NDMA

  • 1,527 children
  • 949,858 houses, including 287,412 and 662,446
  • 3,451.5km roads
  • 149 bridges
  • 170 shops
  • 719,558 livestock

COAS Gen Qamar to visit flood-hit areas in Sindh

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa would visit flood-hit areas in Balochistan and meet with volunteers, the armed forces media wing said in a statement.

“Armed forces have set up 212 relief collection points, including 81 in Sindh, 73 in Punjab, 41 in Balochistan and 17 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

Pakistan Army has set up a flood relief account in Askari Bank GHQ, Rawalpindi. Account number: 00280100620583.

The army was conducting aerial relief operations and distributing ration bags and tents in Punjab’s Rajanpur district. The relief work was also in progress in Dera Ghazi Khan and other flood affected areas.

PTI chief Imran to hold telethon on Monday night at 9:30

PTI Chairman Imran Khan would hold a telethon for the flood victims tomorrow (Monday) night from 9:30pm to 12 noon, party leader Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet.

“Chief ministers of Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa will be with him [PM Imran]. Digital platforms will be used for this broadcast,” he said.

Sindh

The Sindh administration has announced various districts as disaster-hit and ordered residents living near Guddu Barrage to evacuate the area after the water level increased in the dam.

The Guddu barrage’s designed capacity is 1.2 million cusecs. The Sukkur barrage’s capacity was 1.5 million cusecs when it was built in 1932. In 1945 its 10 gates were closed, leaving it with 56 gates with a designed capacity of 900,000 cusecs. The Kotri barrage’s designed capacity is 875,000 cusecs.

The mighty Indus River that courses through Pakistan’s second-most populous region is fed by dozens of mountain tributaries to the north, but many have burst their banks following record rains and glacier melt.

Officials warned torrents of water are expected to reach Sindh in the next few days, adding misery to millions already affected by the floods.

“Right now, Indus is in high flood,” said Aziz Soomro, the supervisor of a barrage that regulates the river’s flow near Sukkur.

The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but it also brings destruction.

Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people – one in seven Pakistanis – destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.

(With input from AFP)

More to follow

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