Number of the Day: 228

Posted on July 29, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Environment
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Adil Najam

(July 30 update: The number is now  over 417.)

The number of the day for yesterday was clearly 152. The number of people who died aboard AirBlue flight ABQ-202 as it tragically crashed into Islamabad’s Margalla Hills. Today it is the (at least) 228 people who have died in the province of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa alone in the recent floods and torrential rains that have lashed at Pakistan. Not even nature seems to give a break to Pakistan these days!

We had, in fact, written a pictorial post about the devastation brought by these rains all over Pakistan only yesterday in a post that was overshadowed by the AirBlue plane crash later. But nowhere has the devastation been as great as in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, and I must confess that I too have been taken by the intensity of the loss of life that is being reported on now. The numbers being quoted vary in different news sources, but it seems mostly depending on when they are quoted. But no matter what the number, it is way too high for what any rain event anywhere should lead to.

To get a sense of just what is happening, consider this earlier story from The News. The litany of misery laid bare in this report is stark and heartbreaking and puts context to the pictures that we had earlier posted:

The heavy showers that continued for the last 36 hours caused floods in almost all rivers and streams of the province that washed away hundreds of homes and shops, dozens of bridges, roads and destroyed communication networks, besides livestock and standing crops. According to figures gathered from different reports and dispatches, 60 persons were killed in Shangla, Kohistan and Battagram, 35 in Swat, 11 in Lower Dir and 10 in Upper Dir, 21 in Kohat, nine in Charsadda, five in Haripur, three in Shabqadar, two each in Takhtbhai, Tank and Abbottabad, five were reportedly killed in Mansehra on Wednesday and seven on Thursday, one each in Chitral and Bannu, while in Peshawar district eight people were killed in Jangali and Telaband, three each in Qadirabad, Gulbahar, Matani and Budbher during the last two days, and four persons were electrocuted and 100 others were missing in Nowshera following flood and torrential rains.

Thousands of people were trapped and hundreds more injured in rain-related incidents in the province, as 400 people had been stranded since Wednesday night and had taken shelter in a petrol pump in Chakdara, Lower Dir, about 3,000 population of Dildar Garhai in Charsadda, 45 families in Lala Killey Charsadda and hundreds more in Shabqadar and other villages of the district. According to Charsadda district coordination officer, the flash floods had affected about 100,000 population till filing of this report, but the district administration had just two boats while 200 boats were needed to rescue the trapped people.  The Peshawar-Charsadda Road, Peshawar-Rashaka section of the Motorway and Peshawar-Nowshera GT Road were closed for all kinds of traffic. All train service to and from Peshawar was also suspended.

…The floods washed away 16 bridges in Swat, three bridges/culverts in Mansehra, Dildar Garhi, Jindi bridge and Palai embankment in Charsadda, Zulam bridge, Khazana bypass bridge, Odigram Bridge, Chakdarra bridge, Mararo bridge and Khal suspension bridge in Lower Dir, besides Timergara bypass road and approach road of Hayaserai bridge, Jan Bati bridge in Upper Dir and Jarma Bridge in Kohat, while Hangu Bridge on the River Kurram situated at main Thal-Parachinar road was partially damaged. The bridges washed away in Swat included Shamozai, Barikot, Kanju, Baghdherai, Khwazakhela, Gaimal, Matta Baryam, Marghuzar, Mingora, Landikas, Katalai, Charbagh, Manglawar, Kabal, Mingora Babuzai and Bahrain areas. A local social worker, Hashim Ali, told The News that about 185 houses in the seven tehsils of the district had been destroyed.

A local official pleading anonymity told this correspondent that about 35 people including two women were washed away in Khwazakhela, Matta, Fatehpur and Asala areas. The sources said about 300 shops had been destroyed in the district, adding that the hotels in Madyan and Bahrain had also been washed away. Reports suggested that about 500 houses on the banks of the nullahs in Mingora city, Kadelai, Kokarai, Janbil, Landikas, Bangladesh and Banr were inundated. Besides, three flour mills including Faizabad Flour Mills, Mingora Flour Mills and Swat Flour Mills were also affected. The stock of wheat had been affected by the floodwater. Eyewitnesses said three mosques in Mingora city and two mosques in Bahrain had also been washed away.

The sources said about 120 people had been stranded in Charbagh, Ningolai, and Khwazakhela due to flood. Apart from other destruction caused by the flood in the district, about 120 vehicles were also washed away. The rains also affected the police installations in the district and the police lines were inundated and policemen were besieged in the lines. Mingora Police Station was also inundated. Expressing concern over the inadequate arrangements by the local administration, the affected people asked the provincial and federal governments to provide instant relief through helicopters as all the roads and bridges had been broken. Five men drowned in various areas, while 60 went missing in Kohistan district yesterday. In another incident in Gajhbori village three men died while an employee of a mobile phone company drowned in Siran River in Tanawal area of Mansehra district. Roads in Siran and Kaghan valleys remained blocked due to landslides at Ghanool and Kiwai. At Barar Kot in Garhi Habibullah, Kunhar River was flooded and its water spilled over into settlements on its banks while in Hassa College, Gul Dheri, Jared and Shino people were shifted to safer places.

Five persons drowned in River Indus in Battagram as two men drowned at Shakae village, Gul Muhammad at Kas Pul and two more were found dead in Pazang village. Seventy shops and several houses collapsed in Karak Bazaar in Battagram, while in Pir Harhi village, a mud avalanche fell on a house, in which 11 persons were present. Villagers were trying to rescue the victims till filing of this report. Khan Khwar Bridge at Bisham was washed away, cutting off the northern link from the rest of the country. Floodwater also damaged a camp of Chinese engineers working on Dubair Khwar hydelpower project and washed away a village having 40 houses. Three Chinese engineers and two men each from FC and Wapda were killed, while 70 were feared dead in the incident.

In Karak, three people died and five others were injured due to collapse of roofs in various parts of the district. Eyewitnesses told The News that Ajab Noor of Kandokhel died when the roof of his room collapsed at night while two persons including a minor died due to a similar incident in Ghunda Shamshaki area of the district. They were identified as Israr and his nephew Shahid. Three women and two men were seriously injured in two more incidents of roof collapse. Supply of gas from Gurguri to DI Khan, Lakki Marwat, Tank, Bannu and Bhaker remained suspended. Khushal Garh Bride was also closed for all kind of traffic and those visiting Islamabad would have to use Peshawar route. According to dispatches, hundreds of houses were destroyed in Peshawar, Kohat, Shangla, Kohistan, Battagram, Charsadda, Mohmand Agency, Dir, Swat, Nowshera, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Mansehra, Tank and DI Khan. While property losses are estimated in billions. Sources said Pabbi tehsil, Nowshera Kalan, Cantonment Area, Pashtoon Garhi, Akbarpura Wanda, Mohib Banda and some other areas were inundated.

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17 responses to “Number of the Day: 228”

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  2. Dear all,
    Assalam O Alikum & Good Afternoon,

    We are a group of friends and we are working voluntarily in the flood effected area of Khayber Pakhtoonkhwa – Pakistan. We have made two relief and medical camp till now. for the further details you can visit http://pakistaniadnan.wordpress.pk or http://ashiyanacamp.blogspot.com. We have started with our own donations & collection from our families & friends. but due to large number of the victims we do need to do many thing more for theses help less peoples. You are all requesting to help these people for the name of humanity.
    We are collecting, Clothes, Medicines, Tents, Food stuff from Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad. Friends who are interesting to donate anything which they like to distribute into flood victims of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa please contact on the followings;
    +92 313 279 8085, +92 343 535 7247,
    +92 333 342 6031, +92 334 228 9783.
    (If none available on the phone “Due to out of range or bad signal, As mobile services are no available in many effected areas”) Please email us;
    faryal.zehra@gmail.com
    s_adnan_ali_naqvi@yahoo.ca
    aliya.imam@googlemail.com
    mansoorahmed27@yahoo.com
    subhan.mtv@gmail.com

    Thousands of the victims are suffering from several diseases, hundreds are not have wear to clothes, eat to food even drink fresh water.

    I’m requesting you on the name of humanity with all of the readers, whether they are from Pakistan or out of Pakistan, Muslim or non Muslim please help our brother & sisters in these worse days. This is not necessary or complementary to help these victims with us. we are just volunteers (with our own capabilities & strength) but you guys can help them many others ways.

    Hope to hear from you guys soon.
    With the thanks and Salam.
    have a nice weekend
    Mansoor Ahmed
    A volunteer of Relief efforts in Naushehra – Charsada, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa – Pakistan.

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