May play havoc in many cities during ensuing hours
Tariq Saeed Peshawar
The unprecedented flooding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the Malakand division being the worst hit played hell in various cities of the province as dozens of people including females and children were reported killed during the last twenty four hours. In some districts whole villages were washed away by the gushing waters.
Besides, large scale destruction of the property including famous hotels, houses, shops, private buildings and government installation were also reported from various parts of the province where thousands of acres of standing crop and hundreds of thousands of cattles were also destroyed by the gushing waters and dozens of bridges including those linking main cities have been washed away. The official figures speak of around two dozen deaths till date whereas the unofficial reports suggest the casualties are much higher. The educational institutions have been closed in many districts and official buildings have been evacuated in anticipation to rehabilitate the flood victims.
The provincial government has declared many districts as calamity hit area and ordered red alert including all lower districts of Lower Dir, Malakand, Mohmand, Charsadda, Peshawar, Mardan, Noshehra, where the river Swat is flowing at dangerous level and may cross 300000 cusecs till mid night at many cities and ay play havoc. The Provincial government is sensing more serious situation then the 2010 flooding that has caused vide range destruction. Even the provincial metropolis Peshawar is under the threat of flooding. A flood emergency control room has been set up in Chief Minister Secretariat in view of the floods in KP.
The residents of low lying areas and those residing closed to river beds in all the districts have been directed to shift to the safest places before it is too late as the night between Friday and Saturday was extremely crucial viz a viz floods.
The deputy commissioner Noshehra while issuing high alert said a flood wave of 300000 cusec will pass in River Swat Noshehra late in the evening causing floods in Noshehra district and even the Main GT road may submerge up to three feet. Most of the population of Noshehra has been evacuated amid rising threats of high flood.
Reports say 95,000 cusecs of flood water was flowing under Charsadda’s Khayali Bridge near the provincial metropolis Peshawar. The officials of the provincial irrigation department said that the capacity of water flow of Khayali Bridge is 100,000 cusecs, whereas, 95,000 cusecs of flood water is currently passing under the bridge. Police and rescue workers started making announcements to stop people from passing through the bridge as they feared its collapse due to the heavy flow of flood waters.
The spokesperson of the irrigation department said that the flood water has now entered the fields and low-lying areas. The water flow was diverted to Jindi River before reducing the losses. Sources said that the residents of the areas near Jindi River have been issued warnings to immediately move to safe localities. The officials said that a relief camp was established at the Abdul Wali Khan Sports Complex, whereas, Charsadda-Peshawar GT Road was completely closed for traffic. The teams of the Pakistan Army were also busy in relief activities in the flood-hit areas. According to a handout issued by the provincial government, the emergency will remain in place in Swat until August 30 for conducting relief activities in the area.
While Swat remains the hard-hit the scenic valley of Kalam sustained major damages where dozens of posh hotels including a four star 140 bedded Honeymoon hotel as well as many other building were washed away by the gushing waters. The gushing waters also played havoc in Bahrain where dozens of houses and other structures have been washed away and two people were reported drowned. In Matta Tehsil of Swat six people were killed when due to high flood an avalanche rolled on their house. In Matta alone 12 bridges and seven roads were damaged in the recent floods. District administration has been striving to evacuate hundreds of tourists stranded in Kalam.