CHITRAL: At least 19 people were killed in flooding and torrential rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral district late on Friday, KP’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said. Fifteen people were killed due to heavy flood in Mulko area alone last night. Seven dead bodies have so far been recovered. The PDMA has confirmed 26 deaths since torrential rains and flooding began in the affected district.
The latest casualties come as flooding and torrential rains wreaked havoc in most parts of the affected district on Friday and Saturday.
According to local administration, the most affected area in Chitral was the Mulkhow union council, where more than a dozen people, including children and women, were reportedly missing.
Meanwhile, area police said so far 11 dead bodies have been recovered and rescue and search operations were underway to locate missing persons.
A police official present in the flood-hit area said that heavy rains began on Friday afternoon and triggered flash floods that damaged houses, shops, hospitals, bridges and government installations.
More than 300 houses and shops in different areas of the Mulkhow sub-division, including Astro, Muzhgol, Authool, Warijun and Kushum villages, were washed away by flash flooding, compelling thousands of people to leave their homes.
The rains also destroyed the area’s communication system and that became the main hurdle in the way of effective rescue operations.
According to locals, the administration of Mustuj tehsil has failed to launch a rescue operation and local residents and affected people were searching for missing family members and friends on their own.
A local resident Fayyaz Khan told via telephone that the administration had failed to issue early warnings and because of that residents of vulnerable localities could not manage to vacate the said neighbourhoods prior to the floods.
The police official said it was early to determine the exact degree of damage caused. He added that police and administration officials were busy in managing rescue operations. A private hospital, a petrol pump, a bank and more than 100 shops and a police station were washed away and a police station had also been damaged.
As many as 3 lac people are stranded in affected areas as land connections to safer parts are lost.
Land connections of Kalash Valley and Ganche to other parts are yet to be restored. As many as nine hydel power houses have been destroyed. Otol village has been completely washed away by floods.
However, the locals have started reconstruction of houses. Army’s relief and rescue operations are ongoing for past one week. Reportedly, there still are foreign tourists who are yet to be rescued.