Key highway opened to speed up aid to flood victims
Pakistani engineers and soldiers cleared a key highway on Thursday to enable aid workers to speed up supplies to survivors of devastating floods that have left hundreds of thousands homeless and killed 1,508 people, the majority of them women and children.
Traffic between the flood-hit city of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, and the southern Sindh province had been suspended for weeks after floods damaged the key highway. The blockage had forced the military to deliver aid to victims by helicopters and boats. As they reopened the route, engineers in Balochistan also restored the power supply for millions, according to a government statement. And the disaster’s deadly toll became more clear, with the United Nations’ children agency saying on Thursday that 528 children were among those who died in the floods.
Meanwhile, the water level in the Main Nara Valley Drain, commonly known as Right Bank Outfall Drain-I, at RD-10 upstream Manchhar Lake, started to decrease on Thursday as officials confirmed the intensity of floodwater also subsided to some extent in Dadu district.
However, they would not take any chances and said they would maintain a strict vigil on the drain to stave off any emergency.
Over the last few weeks, authorities have built barriers to keep the flood waters out of key structures such as power stations and homes, while farmers who stayed to try and save their cattle have faced a new threat as fodder has begun to run out.
Dadu Assistant Commissioner Shahnawaz Mirani told media that at least one foot had decreased at different places of the MNV drain.
He said the water level in various villages in Dadu was also decreasing with each passing day for now.
Separately, Dadu Deputy Commissioner Syed Murtaza Ali Shah said the discharge of water from the MNV drain into the Manchhar Lake was continuing and expressed hope the