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Monsoon rains hit Balochistan hardest as province sees 305% more rains than average
Flash floods caused by abnormally heavy monsoon rains killed at least 549 people in Pakistan over the past month, with remote communities in the impoverished southwestern province of Balochistan among the hardest hit, a government agency said.
Eleven deaths were recorded in various incidents amid monsoon rains in the last 24 hours. The total number of deaths due to floods and rains across the country has reached 549 while the number of injured was 628 reported across the country whereas none of the injured were in serious condition.
Government agencies and the army have set up aid and relief camps in flood-hit regions and were working to help relocate families and provide food and medicine. Aside from the fatalities, the flooding had damaged more than 46,200 houses, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Friday.
"We're doing our best to provide for extensive relief and rehabilitation of flood victims," Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said during his visit to stricken areas. But the Balochistan provincial government said it needed more funds and appealed to international organisations for assistance.
"Our losses are massive," the province's Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said.
There were food shortages in every district hit by the flooding, with some also disconnected from the rest of the province due to more than 700 kilometres of roads being washed away.
Bizenjo said his province needed "huge assistance" from the government and from international aid agencies.
On Friday the NDMA said the country received unprecedented rainfall during the prevailing monsoon season which was 133% above average.
Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, received 305% more rain than the annual average, the disaster agency said. In Sindh, the rainfall tendency recorded was 218% more; in Punjab, more than 101%; in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 26% more; in Gilgit-Baltistan, 68% more; and in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 9% more than average rains were recorded during the ongoing season.
The prevailing abnormal monsoon rainfall pattern has surpassed the past 30-year record of rains in the season, the NDMA spokesperson said in a statement.
On the directives of the premier, the distribution of relief cheques of Rs1 million per flood victim was also in progress.
The NDMA also handed over relief goods to State Disaster Management Authority and the provincial disaster management authorities of Sindh and Balochistan.
The relief items include tents, tarpaulins, blankets, and mosquito nets.
The NDMA also handed over 60,000 litres of drinking water to PDMA Balochistan whereas the mineral water would be distributed in Quetta, Jhal Magsi, and Jafarabad.
The PDMA Balochistan handed over 100 tents to the Harnai administration whereas the humanitarian organisations continued to deliver relief goods in the rain-affected areas and also set up medical camps in the disaster-hit ones.
The authority underlined that as per the situation of the river, the flow of water in the rest of the rivers was normal whereas the water situation in all the dams of the country was normal.
The NDMA added that part of the Karakoram Highway was affected at Achar Nala near Dasu Dam, however, the highway was restored for light traffic movement.
It added that all other national highways and motorways were operational whereas rehabilitation work was ongoing on provincial and local roads.
 
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2022.
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