At least 6 people killed as torrential rains lash Chitral, causing flash floods

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CHITRAL: At least six people were killed and 31 others went missing as torrential rains lashed Chitral, causing flash flooding in the district late on Saturday, local police said Sunday.

District administration, along with the locals, initiated a search and rescue operation after flooding occurred.

“So far we have recovered six bodies, including four bodies from near the Afghan border,” Deputy Commissioner Chitral Usama Waraich said.

“There was panic in the area because people were running as the floods compelled hundreds of residents to leave their homes,” he said.

The Army has also started rescue and relief operations in the area, Inter-Services Public Relations said.

Army helicopters rescued four people from Orsoon and transported them to District Headquarters Hospital, Chitral. An evacuation operation is ongoing, ISPR said.

Some locals claim that the administration had failed to launch an effective rescue operation and the affectees are searching for missing family members all on their own.

A local resident, Sajid, told DawnNews over the telephone that the administration had failed to issue early warnings because of which residents of vulnerable localities could not manage to evacuate the areas prior to the floods.

“We are still waiting for rescue teams to evacuate the area.”

One of the reasons behind the delayed response was the lack of communications system in the area, the deputy commissioner said, adding that it was too early to determine the degree of damage.

A Drosh police official said police had received reports of flooding between 9:30 and 10:00pm on Saturday night, adding, “We faced difficulties during the rescue operation due to darkness and heavy rain.”

The flash floods washed away a mosque and 35 houses completely, while 47 houses were partially damaged in Orsoon, which borders Afghanistan, the Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said.

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