Death toll tops 45 as rains, landslides ravage KP cities

By: News Desk      Published: 01:00 PM, 3 Sep, 2020
Death toll tops 45 as rains, landslides ravage KP cities
Local residents gather to watch the swollen Charsadda River flow under a bridge following heavy monsoon rainfalls, on the outskirts of Peshawar.–AFP

At least 45 people died during the last 48 hours in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as torrential rains generated by a monsoon system hit the region, triggered flash floods and landslides besides widespread damage to properties and infrastructure.

According to 24NewsHD TV channel, the latest deaths were reported from Swabi where five members of a family died as the roof of their house caved amid persistent heavy rain. Three of these victims were children while two others had been hospitalised after receiving severe injuries.

Earlier, official sources confirmed 23 deaths in Hazara Division – comprising Abbottabad, Haripur, Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan and Torghar districts – during the past 24 hours. Several people were also injured in separate rain-related incidents.

Seven of these deaths were reported from Sarni – a remote area in Torghar – when a landslide hit a house. However, locals managed to rescue two children.

Another landslide in the Oghi area of Mansehra claimed the lives of four family members. However, a woman was recovered from the debris and shifted to a hospital in a critical condition.

Also in Oghi, a man was killed and his wife as well as two sons were seriously injured after rock rolling down from a mountain hit their house located in the Chamai area.

Two more lives were claimed by landslides in Shinkiari and Kohistan.

Also in Mansehra, an elderly couple was swept away by the gushing waters of a stream Manoor Nullah in Balakot while a man also drowned in Kunar River in the Talhat area of Garhi Habibullah.

Meanwhile, three people, including two girls, were killed in rain-related incidents in Battagram district.

Meanwhile, three people – a woman and her two children were killed in a landslide while a man reportedly died as a result of roof collapse in Buner.

On the other hand, at least 15 people had earlier reportedly died on Tuesday and Wednesday after flash floods triggered by heavy rains swept away several bridges, destroyed or damaged dozens of houses and wracked havoc with the electricity transmission system.

Many parts of Swat, Shangla, Upper and Lower Dir, Kohistan, Battagram, Mansehra and other parts of northern and northeastern areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are still disconnected from the rest of the country after flash floods and landslides blocked or swept away roads and highways at many  points. 

The situation is expected to get worse as the Met Office has predicted more heavy rains in the region in the next 48 hours as the rivers and streams are already overflowing.

It also generates an alarming situation where more landslides are feared because the heavy rains have softened the soil with the additional water going to cut through the mountains and gorges.

Meanwhile, two friends – Raheel Abbas and Muhammad Ashfaq – drowned in a stream in the Talagang area of Chakwal in Punjab on Thursday.

Flash floods have already a huge damage in various part of Chakwal, especially in Kallar Kahar tehsil. Villages like Noorpur and Buchal are among the most affected parts of the area.    

In the nearby Khushab district, a section of the Mianwali Road was completely destroyed in the Hadiali area.

The Khushab city is now disconnected with the other areas after flash floods destroyed a bridge on Khushab-Rawalpindi Road. 

Similarly, Chak No 50-D/B is one of the several villages of the district where the heavy rains have caused huge losses to the people. It is reported that at least 20 houses were completely destroyed in the village.

It worth noting that the latest monsoon system has completely spared the eastern parts of Punjab. It started affecting the southern Punjab on Monday and later moved along a straight line after changing its direction towards north, generating persistent rains over the western parts of the province.