Deluges induced by relentless monsoon rains continue to swamp villages and towns leaving trails of death and destruction, as fresh rains threaten to ravage what little has been spared by the previous spells.
While Balochistan is reeling from the calamitous rains, the weatherman has forecast a fresh spell of rainfall in Sindh where two more districts have been declared “calamity-hit”, taking the total to 13 following catastrophic rains and flooding.
In Balochistan, the death toll rose to 215 as rescue workers recovered eight more bodies on Saturday. Five members of a family died in their sleep when the roof of their house caved in, burying them alive under tons of rubble in Jaffarabad district.
Police sources said the dead included a man, his wife, and their three minor kids. The bodies were shifted to the basic health unit Gandakha where they were later handed over to the heirs after necessary procedures.
Similarly, Levies retrieved three bodies from a collapsed house in Dera Bugti district. The victims belonged to the same family. Levies sources said the bodies were shifted to a nearby hospital after the incident.
According to Naseer Ahmed Nasar, the director general (DG) of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), 64 children are among the total 215 fatalities across Balochistan.
Meanwhile, rains and flooding also caused casualties in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) where 12 people died and 17 people were injured.
According to a report released by the PDMA, seven people died after being swept away in floodwaters in Chitral. Similarly, four people lost their lives in Dera Ismail Khan.
The PDMA said relief materials were distributed among the victims of DI Khan, Khyber district and South Waziristan. The authority has released another Rs30 million for the victims of DI Khan. Likewise, relief camps were also established at four places in DI Khan.
The district administration and related institutions are engaged in relief activities, the PDMA said.
Meanwhile, army troops reached affected areas of Sindh including Karachi with flood relief equipment on Saturday as the relentless rains left at least 34 people dead across the province, the military said.
“Army rescue teams have started dewatering operation and ration distribution in affected areas of Dadu, Thatta, Badin and Jamshoro districts,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
The reserve rescue teams are on a high alert to meet any emergency situation in the wake of continuous rains and urban flooding in Karachi and interior Sindh, it added.
The unrelenting spell of the monsoon which started on August 17 has flooded large parts of Sindh, taking the lives of at least 34 persons in several districts and injuring a larger number of people.
MORE RAINS: However, the persistent rains in Balochistan are likely to loosen their knockout punch in the coming week.
In its latest forecast on Saturday, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that persistent heavy rains in Khuzdar, Lasbela and Hub districts and over Kirthar Range may create extra pressure on the Hub Dam, Thado Dam and downstream nullahs.
As for the low-pressure area responsible for the current spell of rains in the province, the Met Office said it had weakened after “merging with the seasonal low over Balochistan”.
Consequently, the intensity of the torrential rains experienced in recent days was likely to abate, it added.
For Sindh, the Met Office predicted a three-day spell of rains starting Tuesday with heavy to moderate showers in several cities of the province.
The Met Office said a “strong low-pressure area”, currently located over eastern India, was likely to approach Sindh on August 23 and under its impact, moderate and heavy rain-thunderstorms were expected in several parts of the province till August 25.
During this period, heavy showers “may worsen the situation” in already submerged areas in Dadu, Naushahro Feroze, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Larkana, Jacobabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Ghotki, Shikarpur and Kashmore districts, it warned.
The weather system was also expected to cause light to moderate rain in Tharparkar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Tando Mohammad khan, Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, Mitiari, Thatta, and Sujawal districts, the Met Office added.
It said the continuing wet spell over northeastern and southern districts of Balochistan would persist till August 22 and may trigger flash floods in Dadu, Jamshoro and Qambar-Shahdadkot districts, as well as downstream.