Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kohistan tehsil was reeling on Sunday as officials continued to call for help in rescuing people stranded in areas “completely cut off” due to the deadly floods that have laid waste to lives and infrastructure across the country.

A day earlier, some 350,000 people were evacuated from Charsadda and Nowshera as powerful flash floods in the province caused the Kabul River to swell, sweeping away a large bridge overnight and cutting off some districts from road access.

The chairman of Upper Kohistan’s Kandia tehsil, Anwar Ul Haq, told Dawn.com today that Kandia has been “completely cut-off” from the rest of Kohistan’s areas and there are no mobile phone signals.

He added that locals made their way through perilous conditions on foot — with some travelling for two days — and informed him that an estimated 2,000 houses had been washed away in the floods.

Haq said there is an acute need for food and medicine in Kandia as cases of diarrhoea have surged.

Separately, Lower Kohistan Assistant Commissioner Saqib Khan told Dawn.com that the military has been requested to fly in helicopters to rescue stranded families there since “there is no road route, the communication system and electricity in the affected areas [has broken down]”.

There were also reports that 11 people were stranded due to flood waters, Lower Kohistan Rescue 1122 spokesperson Farman Afridi told Dawn.com.

Rescue workers attempt to reach people trapped due to floods in Lower Kohistan on Sunday.—Rescue 1122 Lower Kohistan
Rescue workers attempt to reach people trapped due to floods in Lower Kohistan on Sunday.—Rescue 1122 Lower Kohistan

He said teams have been scrambled there under the supervision of District Emergency Officer Sajid Ali Yousafzai and Assistant Commissioner Saqib Khan and a rescue operation was underway.

Evacuations continue

Pakistan Army aviation helicopters, meanwhile, flew four sorties to rescue stranded people.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), 110 stranded people have been evacuated from Khawazakhela to Kanju Cantonment, Swat.

“These stranded people are being provided meals and necessary medical care,” ISPR said in a statement.

Stranded people who are struck at a mountain top in Kumrat will be evacuated by army helicopters especially flown from Kamju cantonment Swat as soon as the weather permits, it added.

Hours later, ISPR said the first team of Pakistan Army troops had reached the Khana Bodosh site where these families were struck. “The follow-up army troops have crossed Barikot. Pakistan army aviation helicopters have flown and are on their way to the location,” it added in a statement.

ISPR also shared contact details of a Flood Relief Control Centre established by the Dir Scouts.

In case of emergency or assistance is required, please reach out to the Dir scouts Flood Relief control room on the following numbers:

  • Mobile 1: 03091311310
  • Mobile 2: 03235780067
  • PTCL: 0945-825526

Meanwhile, eight people trapped by the Swat River at Khwaja Khela were evacuated to safety in overnight rescue efforts, Rescue 1122 Swat spokesperson Shafiqa Gul told Dawn.com.

She added that at least 50 people including women and children were shifted to safe places over the past night.

River water levels remain high at Nowshera, Warsak

Separately, the provincial government’s flood cell said the Kabul River’s water levels at Nowshera and Warsak were “very high” and “high”, respectively.

“Floodwater of 298,790 cusecs is currently passing through Nowshera, while floodwater of 122,000 cusecs is passing through Warsak.

“Floodwater of 79,600 cusecs is passing through Adinzai bridge,” it shared in a statement.

The flood cell warned that the water level of the River Indus was also high. Floodwater of 523,600 cusecs and 321,000 cusecs was currently passing through Attock and Tarbela, the statement said.

At the same time, floodwater from the Swat River of 95,000 cusecs and 9,300 cusecs was passing through Munda Headworks and Charsadda Khyali, it added.

Punjab

A separate aerial relief operation was undertaken by the Pakistan Army in Punjab’s District Rajanpur today, the ISPR said in an afternoon update.

“Aid in the shape of ration bags and tents was provided to the affectees,” it said, adding that the army continued rescue and relief operations in all flood-hit areas of districts Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur.

Pakistan Army teams rescued a number of people, including women and children, stranded in the affected areas, ISPR said, adding along with their belongings they were shifted to safer places.

“People living in relief camps are being provided with cooked food and dry rations,” it added.

“Pakistan Army is utilising all available resources to help the flood-affected people including immediate medical care at the medical camps set up by army.”

Turkiye flying in assistance

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday said two aircraft from Turkiye carrying relief goods would arrive in Karachi tomorrow (Monday).

“The Consul General of Turkiye in Karachi will hand over the relief goods to the Pakistani authorities at the airport tomorrow morning,” she said in a series of tweets on Sunday.

The relief goods include tents, medicines and other items.

She said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif informed Turkish President Recep Erdogan about the devastation caused by the floods in the country in a telephone conversation on Saturday.

Aurangzeb said more relief goods were also expected from Turkiye.


More to follow

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