Friday, August 26, 2022
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has declared an emergency in Swat after the scale of devastation caused by extreme flooding in the district reached out of control following record rains.
Provincial authorities are facing difficulty in rescuing affected families from hill stations of Swat, Dir, and Chitral, Geo News reported on Friday.
The state of emergency will be in effect until August 30 for relief efforts in flood-affected areas of Swat, a notification by the KP relief department stated.
KP CM Mahmood Khan has directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to expedite relief activities in the area besides timely provision of grocery, cooked food and other items to the affectees.
According to the district administration, communication bridges in Matta, Sukhra, and Lalko in Swat have also been damaged.
A number of hotels and restaurants have been submerged on the Mingora Bypass, and Swat Mingora Bypass Road has been closed for traffic due to inundation.
In Nowshera, meanwhile, public and private schools have been closed for two days due to flooding, the deputy commissioner said.
In Kalam, a new hotel has been completely destroyed due to the rain and flash floods.
In a flood advisory issued on Friday, KP’s Provincial Emergency Operations Centre said that water flows in River Swat at Khawazakhela point and its tributaries/nullahs had reached high to very high flood levels — 227,899 cusecs — which “may result in a dangerous situation for communities living nearby”.
The deputy commissioners of Swat, Lower Dir, Malakand, Mohmand, Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshera and Peshawar have been instructed to "immediately identify vulnerable points and communities at risk to devise mitigation and safety measures".
“Maintain enhanced alert level and monitor the developing situation to reduce reaction and response times,” the centre said, calling for the sensitisation of people living on the banks of the rivers about the increase in water flows.
“Make announcements for timely evacuation of the at-risk population from low-lying/flood-prone areas as per evacuation plans,” it added.
The PDMA also instructed authorities to evacuate cattle from areas at risk of flooding, as well as restrict vehicle movement there.
A video of a big house being washed away by the floods in Swat shows the devastation the rains have caused, with many others like it broken or swept away, besides the damage to roads, and hundreds of lives lost.
In the video, people can be seen shouting, “Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,” as the building collapsed within seconds of being hit.
Watch it here:
The motorway police has blocked the Swat Expressway partially in the Palai area due to landsliding, Geo News reported.
The motorway police spokesperson said that the traffic coming from Islamabad and Peshawar is being diverted towards the Palai Interchange while the traffic coming from Swat has been blocked at Chakdara.
The spokesperson added that the stones and other obstacles are being removed from the highway, adding that the public has been instructed to avoid travelling unnecessarily in this weather.
The citizens can contact the motorway police helpline at 130 before travelling or if any assistance is needed.