Reviewing relief operations, C.M. Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo says government will ensure shelter for people left homeless by flooding
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo on Wednesday announced that the provincial government was declaring Gwadar and Kech districts “calamity-hit” areas after torrential rains left the region under water.
Addressing journalists after visiting the Provincial Disaster Management Authority headquarters, he regretted that Gwadar and Kech districts had suffered massive losses due to the heavy rains that lashed the Makran Coast earlier this week. He said all authorities concerned, including personnel of the Army, Navy, Frontier Corps, police, civil administration and Levies Force were participating in rescue and relief operations, adding that the government was working to provide relief and shelter to the people left homeless by flooding.
According to the Pakistan Metrological Department, the highest quantity of rainfall was recorded in Pasni, 137mm, while 104mm was recorded in Gwadar, 74mm in Ormara, 44mm in Turbat and 40mm in Jiwani. In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Army troops had immediately been deployed to assist civil administration in rescue and relief efforts. It said the troops would help remove water from the affected areas and shift stranded tourists and their vehicles to safer places. Stagnant water accumulated in Gwadar was posing extreme problems for the local population and tourists, it warned.
During his press conference, Bizenjo said the government had issued an advisory prior to the commencement of rainfall and sent relief goods and machinery that had helped prevent disaster. “The government’s action brought good results as the affected people were immediately rescued and provided relief,” he said, adding that roads closed by heavy snowfall and rains had been reopened within 24 hours and traffic on all highways had been restored.
To a question, he said the government would provide more relief goods to the PDMA, as there were reports that it had faced shortage of relief goods during the earthquake in Harnai. He also warned owners of hotels and rest houses against overcharging tourists who had been stranded in Ziarat by the excessive snowfall, adding that the local administration would act against such exploitation. “We have opened government rest houses for tourists in Ziarat,” he added.
Earlier, the PDMA director general briefed the chief minister on ongoing relief and rescue operations and assured him that tents, blankets, food items and drinking water were being distributed among the rain-affected families in both Kech and Gwadar.
In addition to the chief minister and PDMA director-general, provincial Planning Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana, and other officials were also present on the occasion.