Aug 11, 2010

Balochistan: Flash Floods Threaten to Cause Mass Devastation Across the Region

The Pakistani humanitarian disaster has spread to the province of Balochistan affecting tens of thousands of people and threatening vast swathes of the nation.


Below is an article published by The Daily Times:


Flash floods threatened dozens of villages and thousands of people on Tuesday (10 August 2010) as the Nari River in Balochistan was in high flood near Sibi.

The river swelled near Kachi area following the entry of 80,000 cusecs of floodwater from Nari bank near Sibi. 

Flood warning has been issued in Sibi and Kachi villages, while 10 villages have been inundated in Loni locality of Loralai, trapping hundreds of people in floodwater. 

The catchment areas of Nari River received intermittent rains on Monday night, causing floods in the downstream destroying mud houses, farms and agriculture fields in the whole region.

The flash floods continued to play havoc in Sibi, Kachi, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Harnai on Tuesday. “The fresh flash floods affected more than 50,000 people in Sibi,” an official said adding that people are already evacuated the Haji Shahr, Loni, Machri and adjoining areas and had taken shelter at higher ground.

Flood-affected people in Dera Murad Jamali and Loralai staged protest demonstrations over the inadequate relief operation. The protesters blocked the national highway.

Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani viewed the flood-affected areas of eastern Balochistan from the air on Tuesday. The army chief also met the flood-affected people in Naseerabad and assured them that C-130 planes carrying relief goods would arrive in the area today (Wednesday).Naseerabad Division Commissioner Sher Khan Bazai briefed the army chief about the devastation caused by floods in the area.

“The Pak-Army will take every possible step to help the affected people in this hour of need,” Gen Kayani said. 

Thousands of flood-affected people from Sindh have arrived in Jaffarabad. The Naseerabad district administration has started registration of the displaced people. Local relief activists urged the authorities to assistance to the affected people.

The telecommunication network of Sohbatpur, Kohlu, Barkhan Rakni, Duki and Loralai remains dysfunctional, as the telephone exchanges of these districts were completely inundated in floodwater. 

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani urged the federal government and international aid agencies to come forward and help the affected people of the province.

“A large area of the province has been devastated by flash floods and it is beyond the capacity of provincial government to rehabilitate the affected people,” the CM said in a statement.