At least 31 people died on Sunday as an aftermath of heavy rains and flash floods that inundated Chitral’s Arsoon area. It is being feared that deaths may increase and floods have left number of people missing. Mostly women and children were among the affected people. The flash floods also damaged number of houses and damaged infrastructure in the area. Rescue operation is underway but severe floods creating difficulties in rescue activities. Army troops, NDMA and concerned provincial authorities are busy in rescue and relief operation.
It is consecutive third year that during the time of monsoon Chitral affects badly and floods bring huge devastation in the area. Some experts link recent intensity of floods with melting glaciers and climate change. The persistent rainfall triggers the glacial melt and warmer rainwater in comparison to the ice which causes ice to melt faster. It has also been witnessed that usually affected people live in poorly built homes and vulnerable condition becomes reason behind roof collapsing during heavy monsoon season. Rapid deforestation and growth of farming alongside the bank of rivers is also believed to have exacerbated the effects of the annual floods.
Like every year, this time too politicians have expressed deep grief and sorrow over deaths caused by heavy rain and flash flood, but this expressing grief seems just a customary exercise and words of solidarity contain no meaning to the affected people. It is high time that officials of concerned authorities need to do some serious job to formulate policies in such a manner that future floods cause least devastation.
There is dire need to step up rescue and relief efforts in the flood-hit areas.