At least 65 people were killed and several others injured as fresh rain and floods wreaked havoc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
The floodwaters also washed away bridges and over 70 cabins in the Batathal area on the outskirts of the provincial capital. Mountainous Kohistan and Shangla were the most affected districts where several people were killed and houses and roads washed away. Most of the damage was caused by landslides and incidents of roof collapse. Several bridges and scores of houses have been destroyed which left people stranded and out of reach of aid and rescue missions.
Our federal and provincial governments have failed to take sufficient measures to prevent infrastructural damages particularly in underdeveloped villages and towns. People living in the areas along with the banks of rivers should be provided alternative areas for accommodation. Climate change has changed the weather patterns and floods and devastation have become permanent annual issue in our country. But Provincial and National Disaster Management Authorities have failed to sense the urgency of the matter and rely on last minute decisions for emergency relief operations.
It is ironic that state is not prepared for the floods before they hit and then scramble to rebuild and evacuate the affected areas after significant destruction has already been caused. More reservoirs and dams need to be built and the capacity of the existing dams needs to be bolstered. Long term measures need to be taken to enable the irrigation system of Pakistan to handle the increased water flow. It is hard to stop flash floods but better preparations can scale down the losses.
Lack of preparation for the floods has left victims to survive on their own.