August 27, 2022
By Asim Ahmed Khan
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Balochistan has reported a total of 234 deaths in rain and flood-related incidents across the province since the start of the monsoon season. Of these, a majority of fatalities were men (110), while 55 women and 69 children lost their lives.
Furthermore, a total of 27, 747 houses have been damaged while more than 107,377 cattle and livestock have been swept away in floods. Around 200,000 acres of standing crop in the province has been lost.
According to PDMA Director Faisal Tariq, 31 out of Balochistan’s 34 districts have been badly affected by torrential rainfall, flash floods and landslides, with Quetta reporting the highest number of deaths at 27. Lasbela has recorded 21 casualties while Pishin 17.
“The situation in Sohbatpur, Jafarabad and Naseerabad is dire. We have teams deployed in these areas to rescue trapped residents and shift them to designated safe areas,” he states. “We expect even more rainfall in the next three days.”
Swathes of land in Barkhan, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, and Musakhail have been submerged, following heavy rainfall which flooded storm drains. As a result, dry routes to these areas have been cut off.
The Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan Highway and the Loralai-Dera Ghazi Khan Highway have been once again closed on a cautionary basis. Moreover, a 140-year-old British Raj railway bridge has collapsed due to floods in Bolan, suspending train services from Balochistan.
Deputy Commissioner Dera Bugti Mumtaz Ali Kehtran provides that roughly 80 percent of mud houses in the district have been washed away. He further says that he has sent a request to the Director General of the PDMA to declare Dera Bugti as a disaster zone.
People displaced after the most recent spell of rains and flash floods in Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Naseerabad and Quetta protested against the administration over non-provision of relief goods.
“More than 2,000 houses have been destroyed, but no aid has arrived as of yet,” protesters say.
An estimated 33 million people across the country are without shelter in what the Federal Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, has termed “the worst humanitarian disaster of this decade.”
According to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA), as of August 26, at least 937 people have been killed in monsoon-related incidents in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan. A total of 116 districts are affected, of which 66 have been officially declared ‘calamity hit’.