Catastrophe hits home: Deadly monsoons claim 337 lives across Pakistan

This is the biggest loss of life in a monsoon season after 2011 torrential rains
<p>This image shows a part of a road in Balochistan which was washed away in recent rains.  PHOTO: NOORUL ARIFEEN/SAMAA TV</p>

This image shows a part of a road in Balochistan which was washed away in recent rains. PHOTO: NOORUL ARIFEEN/SAMAA TV

Devastating monsoon rains have wreaked havoc across Pakistan, claiming a whopping 337 lives, while injuring another 370.

Moreover, several hundred kilometers of roads and dozens of bridges have been washed away while thousands of houses have been destroyed in the torrential rains. Hundreds of livestock and cattle have also perished in flooding and hill torrents caused by rains.

Data shared by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) showed that from June 14 until now, disaster had struck most parts of the country as abnormal monsoon rains lashed it. Sindh and Balochistan received several times the normal amount of rain as it does during these months.

Moreover, the data showed that among the dead, men suffered the most with 149 casualties reported. This was followed by children, with 131 perishing in rain-related incidents.

Poorest suffer the most

The brunt of the monsoon was felt by one of Pakistan’s poorest regions, Balochistan, which reported the highest death toll of 104, in the country. These included 40 men, 30 women and 34 children.

It also reported the most damage to infrastructure and livestock, losing around 580 kilometres of roads and highways with several areas cut off. At least 11 bridges were also washed away, including key bridges of Hub and Hingol.

 Sections of the Hub-Lyari bridge were washed away, cutting off a major artery linking Balochistan with Sindh. PHOTO: ONLINE
Sections of the Hub-Lyari bridge were washed away, cutting off a major artery linking Balochistan with Sindh. PHOTO: ONLINE

As many as 712 livestock heads also perished in the rains.

The bigger catastrophe was the thousands of people left homeless with as many as 2,536 houses completely destroyed and 1,417 houses partially damaged.

 Data shared by NDMA
Data shared by NDMA

On the other hand, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) reported 81, 71, 67, 8, 5, and one fatality respectively.

The most number of injuries, 192, were reported from Punjab, the most populous province of Pakistan followed by 64 in KP and 61 in Balochistan.

Loss of infrastructure

Monsoon pounded the infrastructure across the country resulting in the loss of at least 50 bridges and 630.5km of road network up until July 27.

 Only a partial wall of a house is left standing in Balochistan after being destroyed by heavy rains and floods. PHOTO: NOORUL ARIFEEN/SAMAA TV
Only a partial wall of a house is left standing in Balochistan after being destroyed by heavy rains and floods. PHOTO: NOORUL ARIFEEN/SAMAA TV

As per the data shared by NDMA, 580km of the road network was destroyed throughout Balochistan during the recent floods.

At least 42km of roads were obliterated by monsoon thundershowers in Sindh.

In GB, while the length of roads damaged was few, around 34 bridges were swept away. These included some 21 pedestrian bridges used by locals to cross valleys and ravines.

 A wedding party in Muzaffarabad carry a traditional palanquin (dolli) of a bride across a raging stream as her groom looks on. PHOTO: ONLINE
A wedding party in Muzaffarabad carry a traditional palanquin (dolli) of a bride across a raging stream as her groom looks on. PHOTO: ONLINE

Damage to infrastructure & property
Province/State Roads Bridges Shops Livestock Partially Destroyed Houses Fully destroyed Total
Islamabad - - - - - - -
Balochistan 580km 11 - 712 1,417 2,536 3,953
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6.5km 4* - 242 2.146 505 2,651
Punjab - - - 12 67 1 68
Sindh 42km 1 - 75 1,458 215 1,673
Gilgit Baltistan 2km 34* - - 215 - 215
Azad Jammu and Kashmir - - 5 741 7 56 63

Besides, roads and bridges, 8,623 houses were damaged in total.

Moreover, at least 2,651 residences were destroyed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1,673 in Sindh.

Loss of livestock

As many as 1,736 domesticated animals were compromised during the latest torrential rains in the country this July.

The most livestock, 741, was lost in Azad Kashmir followed by 712 in Balochistan.

No loss of livestock was reported in Gilgit Baltistan.

 A locality in Hyderabad is flooded after heavy rains. PHOTO: ONLINE
A locality in Hyderabad is flooded after heavy rains. PHOTO: ONLINE

Army assists rescue efforts

Given the gravity of the situation, troops are assisting the civil administration of flood-affected regions of Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan in rescue and relief efforts.

An official of the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that officers from the Emergency Response teams of the Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary (FC) in Balochistan are busy draining water and supplying basic food necessities and medical care to people in affected areas.

Moreover, over 700 families trapped during floods in parts of Balochistan and GB, including Bolan, Lasbela, Othal and Jhal Magsi and Ghizer were shifted to safe places.

Further, the army had established free medical camps at Hub, Lasbela, Othal, Zeropoint, Deodar and Ghizer.

Around 7.5 tons of food items, shelters and other relief materials have also been provided in Lasbela, Othal, Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar and other affected areas.

Standby response teams have also been stationed at various locations in Balochistan for emergency relief activities and to counter any situation due to flooding.

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