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Emergency imposed; floods leave unprecedented destruction across Chitral

  • Traffic restored through alternate routes at Kari, Mroi and Koghuzi; work underway at Nerdeth where it is opened for pedestrians only.
  • KP govt releases Rs20 million each to Lower and Upper Chitral districts; emergency imposed till Aug 15.
  • River erosion creates breach on side of Mastuj bridge.
  • Shehzad Hussain, an official of Pakistan Army, fell into the breach and disappeared while going to Mastuj from Parwak. His pillion rider rescued.
  • PDMA says 39 houses damaged in Lower Chitral and 19 in Upper Chitral. 
  • Relief activities yet to start in affected areas due to blockade of roads.
  • Locals advised to avoid travel in both Chitral Lower and Upper.
  • Chief secretary KP visits Lower and Upper Chitral and order to expedite relief operations.
  • Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman to visit Chitral on July 24.

CHITRAL: Different areas of both Chitral Lower and Upper are reeling under the impact of climate change induced flash floods and GLOFs as the valley saw unprecedented destruction to public and private properties this year.

On the other hand, the KP government on the requests of the deputy commissioners imposed emergency in Chitral which will remain in force till Aug 15.

While no help is coming from any government department, the local people are struggling to cope with the situation by trying to restore water and power supply and provide basic food items and accommodation to displaced families.

Volunteers of Al-Khidmat and AKAH in different areas were providing food items and tents to the people affected by the floods mostly caused by glacial melting.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Peshawar, 39 houses in Lower Chitral and 19 in Upper Chitral have been damaged in the floods.

As the floods have blocked most of the areas in the two districts exact intensity of damages is yet to be ascertained.

The already dilapidated roads and bridges gave been buried under flood debris or washed away by the torrents.

Mastuj bridge in Upper Chitral damaged in floods of July 2023
Broken Mastuj bridge on Chitral-Shandur road. PC: Shah Nawaz Ali

According to local people, river floods have re-created a big breach on one side of Mastuj bridge and two persons travelling on a motorcycle at night fell into the damaged portion of the bridge. They riders were on way to Mastuj from Parwak.

One of them was rescued by the emergency service while the other identified as Shehzad Hussain, an official of Pakistan Army, disappeared in the water. The bike was retrieved by local people today.

The district administration of Lower Chitral today said work in the reopening of Drosh-Madakwasht road had been started but due to high volume of water in flooded nullahs the rehabilitation work was being hampered.

Rescue 1122 Lower Chitral said four shops, four motorcycles and four watermills were washed away by floods in Koghuzi Gol. The gushing water also damaged the Koghuzi bridge on Chitral-Mastuj road.

Six houses were also damaged at Kalashgram village of Rumbur valley, it added. Four houses were also damaged in the Uchust village of Lower Chitral.

Meanwhile, a meeting at the DC office in Lower Chitral was informed that efforts by the district administration to assess damages and provide assistance and relief to affected people were hampered by blockade of roads. It said the Chitral-Mastuj road was still blocked.

The district administration of Upper Chitral asked local people to avoid travelling on Chitral-Booni road as it was blocked at Nerdath Gol Denin and Koghuzi.

The district administration of Lower Chitral said relief work had been started in Rumbur valley and the road to the area had been reopened. It also asked people to avoid travelling in other areas of the district.

In different parts of Chitral, local people have started work to rehabilitate damaged water and electricity lines.

Due to blockade of the main road, there was also shortage of edible items in remote areas of Upper Chitral, local residents told ChitralToday on phone.

Flood in Meragram village of Upper Chitral Yarkhun valley
Meragram 2 village in Yarkhun.

They said in many areas wheat crop either had been damaged or harvested crop washed away and buried due to floods.

It may be noted that glaciers in the Himalayas and Hindukush regions have sped up melting due to climate change in the recent years, causing havoc in the areas.

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1 Comment
  1. شیر ولی خان اسیر says

    عرصے سے اس اہم ترین پل کی مرمت کی ضرورت پر زور دیتے رہے ہیں لیکن این ایچ اے کی کان پر جوں تک نہیں رینگی۔ آخر کار حکومت کی نااہلی پل کی بربادی کی صورت میں ہمارے
    سامنے آ گئ۔

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