Provincial capital of Balochistan, Quetta, has been cut off from the rest of the country as land and telecommunication network has damaged due to incessant rains continuing for more than 30 years till filing of this news on Friday morning.
While roads were washed away due to floods were yet to be restored, Balochistan’s railway connection has also been suspended for an indefinite period after a major bridge collapsed near Mach area in Bolan district due to heavy rains and floods, Pakistan Railways officials said on Thursday.
At least 500 people, including women and children, were trapped in flood water after heavy rains and flood torrents wreaked havoc in Balochistan.
As the flood torrent coming from the Bolan River broke the Sabri Dam, over a hundred villages were feared to be submerged.
The Jadidabad bridge was again swept away in flood water, leaving the Quetta-Taftan National Highway closed. Meanwhile, the flood torrent washed away the gas pipeline in Bibi Nani, suspending the gas supply to Quetta.
Floodwater also raged through areas around Chaman and entered the offices of Customs and the FIA at the Bab-e-Dosti and a village in the Pak-Afghan border area. Many people have been trapped on a road in chest-deep floodwater.
Up north, several Gilgit Baltistan areas were inundated after fresh torrents of flood water hit several areas in Ghizer and Diamer districts.
Meanwhile, nine more deaths were reported in Balochistan in rain-related accidents, taking the provincial death toll to 236, according to official figures.
According to PR officials, the bridge collapsed in the wee hours of Thursday suspended inter-provincial railway services, as well as trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Turkiye.
“The main supporting pillar of the bridge was washed away which resulted in the collapse,” sources said.
A team of railway engineers has visited the site of the collapsed bridge and the work to repair the bridge will be launched on a war footing, officials said.
The bridge was built by the British in 1885.
Meanwhile, heavy rainfall in Quetta and surrounding areas throughout Thursday, damaged dozens of houses, while floodwater also submerged various localities on the city’s outskirts. In the wake of the alarming situation, an emergency has been declared in major hospitals of the provincial capital.
A joint operation has been launched by the Pakistan Army, FC and the local administration to rescue people and move them to safe areas. As the rainfall continued, several areas of Quetta, Mastung, Khuzdar, Sibi, Mach, Pishin, Nasirabad and Jaffarabad plunged into darkness after the 220kv Quetta-Sibi transmission line tripped.
ANOTHER GAS PIPELINE DAMAGED: Meanwhile, heavy floods swept away another gas pipeline passing through the Bolan River near Bibi Nani area, suspending gas supply to Quetta, Pishin, Mastung, Kalat and other areas.
The pipeline was working as a temporary connection, as the main 24-inch pipeline was washed away in the same area last week.
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Spokesman Salman Siddiqui said that soon after the incident, SSGC had launched the repair work, however continuous rainfall and flooding hampered the efforts.
People should arrange alternate sources of gas for the time being as the repair work would take time, he advised.
Meanwhile, heavy rains and floods damaged homes and crops in Nasirabad, Jhal Magsi, Dera Allahyar, Sibi, Bolan and other areas.
According to officials, Bolan, Lehri and Nari rivers were carrying high flood.
“Heavy flood was threatening Bibi Nani bridge in Bolan,” official sources said, adding that Bolan River was carrying over 80,000 cusecs flood water.
GILGIT BALTISTAN: At least one person died, while four were rescued, in Diamer district on Thursday as heavy downpour and flash floods continued to leave behind torrents of destruction disasters across GB.
According to police, many families were also left homeless in Ghizer and Nagar, districts after floods swept away homes.
Meanwhile, the blocking of Karakoram Highway, Jaglot-Skardu road, Astore road, Babusar Top and other inter-district roads has left many people stranded in remote areas.
Power supply and internet connectivity in the flood-hit areas remained suspended as damaged power houses, transmission lines and fibre optic cables were yet to be repaired.
FORCES’ RESCUE OPERATION: A joint relief and rescue operation of Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary Balochistan and civil administration was underway in Balochistan’s flood-hit areas, Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said on Thursday.
“In this hour of difficulty, Pakistan Army and FC Balochistan are engaged in rescue and relief operations along with civil administration and PDMA,” the statement added.
Along with rescue and relief operations, the dewatering of inundated areas was also underway.
Free medical camps have been established in Kharan, Sahebpur Prom, Mand, Mirani Dam,Balingur, Gul Hakeem, Badarpur, Goth Umar Khan, Bela and other areas, ISPR added.
The civil administration and Pakistan Army were also working to repair damaged roads and bridges, while the Sukkur-Quetta N-65 National Highway was opened for traffic.