LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The flood situation showed no improvement across the country on Saturday. Torrential rains and FLASH floods killed seven people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Sindh, the Indus was close to danger levels at Guddu and Sukkur, bringing more villages in the katcha areas of Kandhkot district under water.
The Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) warned of another peak of high flood at Chashma because of heavy rains in the catchment areas.
Heavy rains lashed many cities in the upper parts of the country and in Punjab due to the combined effect of a monsoon low over Bahawalpur division and a fresh westerly wave that crossed over into northern Pakistan after persisting over north-east Afghanistan for nearly three days.
No respite for Chitral; several villages inundated
A peak of 722,000 cusecs was crossing the Indus at Guddu and the volume was likely to increase to 799,000 cusecs, the highest so far in the current flood season, in the next 24 hours.
A peak of 584,000 cusecs was crossing the river at Sukkur and was expected to swell to 720,000 cusecs (very high flood).
The FFD said the Indus at Chashma was likely to be in high flood, ranging between 550,000 and 600,000 cusecs. The discharge was 451,000 cusecs on Saturday.
It expected River Kabul to be in high flood at Nowshera, ranging between 150,000 and 180,000 cusecs. The discharge was 89,000 cusecs.
High flow was expected in hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan and flows were likely to rise in rivers Jhelum and Chenab from Sunday to Tuesday.
In addition to claiming at least seven more lives and wounding several others, torrential rains and FLASH floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and parts of the tribal areas also damaged infrastructure, forcing hundreds of families to evacuate their houses in Kohat, Nowshera, Peshawar, Karak and Bajaur Agency.
Officials said a rescue operation was under way and stranded people were being evacuated.
The KP Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said the water level was rising in various rivers and streams that could trigger floods in the plains.
Teams of Rescue 1122 were evacuating marooned people in Camp Korona, Nowshera district, by boats.
The FFD recorded very heavy rain of 145mm in Cherat during the past 24 hours. Mianwali received 128mm, Murree 111, Dera Ismail Khan 106, Risalpur 82, Lower Dir 81, Layyah 79, Nowshera 78, Kot Addu 75, Tanda Dam 54, Daggar and Drosh 44mm each, Bhakkar 42, Mianwali 38, Noorpur Thal 36, Chakdara 35, Kohat 34, Toba Tek Singh 30, Peshawar Airport 29 and City 27, Dera Ghazi Khan 28, Palandri 27, Multan 24, Dir 23 and Shorkot 22mm. Rain was also recorded in Malamjabba, Bahawalpur, Balakot, Shinkiari, Kasur, Rawalakot, Warsak, Muzaffarabad, Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Attock, Kotli, Okara and Sargodha.
The FFD forecast fairly widespread thunderstorm and rain with scattered heavy falls over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab along with northeast Balochistan. Scattered thunderstorm and rain of moderate intensity was expected over the upper catchments of all the major rivers.
According to our correspondent in Chitral, FLASH floods devastated seven villages across the district, including the Kalash valley of Bumburate, in the early hours of Saturday after thunderstorm and torrential rains continued for several hours.
A resident of Bumburate, Zakuta Kalash, told Dawn in the evening that the floods were the worst that had hit the valley in his life, and had swept away 24 houses, a large number of HOTELS and shops, a government high school, three mosques, a Kalash jastakhan (dancing place) and two micro hydropower stations.
He said that the suspension bridge at Dubazh at the entrance of the valley and the road leading to it from Ayun village had been washed away, leaving no track even for pedestrians to other areas.
According to our correspondent in Sukkur, several more villages of the katcha riverside areas of Kandhkot came under floodwater due to increased flow in the Indus as a result of melting of snow in the northern areas as well as heavy monsoon rains.
The inundated villages included Chanesar Sabzoi, Qaisar Sabzoi and Nawab Sabzoi.
Flood survivors held protest demonstrations at Tori and Mewal Shah dykes, complaining that they had not been rescued by the administration and had come to safe places on their own after leaving behind their valuables, cattle and grain stocks. They also complained that the displaced people were not being provided essential facilities.
They said many people were stranded in the katcha areas along with their cattle.