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Chitral flood: 17 bodies retrieved

PESHAWAR - Dead bodies of 17 victims who went missing after being swept away in Chitral flooding were recovered yesterday while search is underway for the recovery of remaining victims.

Local sources said that two girls also recovered in injured condition as Pak Army Chitral Scouts, police and local volunteers are busy in the rescue operation. Relief operation is in full swing in the rain and flood affected areas of Drosh in Chitral. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has directed Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) for utilising all resources to support the affected people of Chitral.

According to District administration, 29 persons were declared dead while 13 persons still missing. Rescue operations in the region are continued. Relief activities have been started and necessary food and non-food items distributed among 50 affected families from Ursoon. Moreover, the PDMA has already provided 500 tents to district administration Chitral in the second week of June, 2016. In addition, Rs5 million relief funds have been released to DC Chitral.

According to spokesperson, PDMA Latif Ur Rehman, as per the met office more rain is expected in next 24 to 48 hours in Malakand and Hazara division. The PDMA KP has issued a red alert to district administration Malakand and Hazara division. He also stated that the concerned line department and stakeholders have established control rooms and a directive issued to connect round-the-clock with PDMA control room during monsoon. He said the PDMA control room will be functional during Eid holidays and special duties have been assigned. The PDMA Khyber Pakthunkhwa here Monday directed the district administration to utilise the relief funds of Rs15 million for quick and speedy assistance of flood victims of Ursoon valley.

As per the latest report of PDMA here, the district administration of Chitral has been directed to utilise relief available funds in the wake of flash flood emergency situation taken place on June 2 last in Urson valley for the purchase of food items from utility stores after fulfilling all codel formalities.

The DC Chitral has been authorised to utilise the relief funds to the tune of Rs15 million for relief activities besides provision of quick assistance to affected population. According to the report, 29 people had lost their lives and 13 persons including eight security personnel are still massing due to heavy-floods in Chitral. As many as 19 houses were completely and 27 partially damaged due to flood devastation in Chitral.

The dead bodies of 16 victims including three security personnel have been recovered whereas 13 to 14 persons are still missing and four sustained injuries. The report said quite considerable number of irrigation channels and water supply schemes have been reportedly damaged due to natural calamity.
The report said compensation cheques would be distributed among the affected persons by today. The Chief Minister KP has released Rs50 million for providing food and other necessary items for affected people.

The Deputy Commissioner Chitral along with rescue and relief team has visited the affected area and distributed 50 tents, 150 quilts, 200 mates besides 40 cocked food items among the affected population. AFP adds: Officials revised the death toll from flooding caused by monsoon rains in the country's remote north down to 33, as the military said it was flying food and medical supplies to damaged areas.

On Sunday officials had put the total number of people killed at 43, saying that 41 of them had died in a village in the Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where flash floods swept away their homes without warning. Authorities also said two Chinese engineers had been killed at the Tarbela dam construction site, also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

But on Monday officials said there had been duplication in the death count, revising the Chitral toll down to 29. They also said two more Pakistani workers had died alongside the Chinese engineers at the dam construction site, bringing the total toll across the province to 33. Thirteen people are still missing in Chitral, said the district's deputy commissioner Usama Waraich, adding that authorities were evacuating some residents with more rain forecast Monday. Dozens of homes in the village of Ursoon in Chitral were damaged in the floods with the army saying Monday five of them were completely swept away. The remote village had received no evacuation warning and remained cut off Monday, with roads to it damaged by the floods.

The military said it was flying in medical aid, tents and food to Ursoon by helicopter Monday. Afghan authorities also said they had recovered 13 bodies, including of eight Pakistani soldiers, which had been swept over the border from Chitral into Afghanistan. "We found the bodies yesterday and they were handed over to the Pakistani authorities," Ehsanullah Fazal, head of the public health hospital in Afghanistan's Kunar province, told AFP.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 05-Jul-2016

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