–At least 10 Tablighi Jamaat members from Punjab among dead; death toll may rise
–Pakistan Army says it has rescued 52 people
ISLAMABAD: At least 23 people, including soldiers, women and children, died after they were swept away in a flash flood caused by torrential rains in the Neelum Valley, whereas dozens were reported to be missing.
According to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the flood had also destroyed nearly 150 houses, multiple shops and two mosques and the locals have been directed to move to safer areas.
The SDMA, while confirming the death toll, also said that it was expected to rise.
According to the authority, 10 Islamic missionaries from the Tablighi Jamaat, four of whom were from Lahore, five from Faisalabad and one from Sheikhupura were among the dead.
The authority also confirmed that five people, including a little girl, had died after a touring jeep fell into River Neelum, however, one person had survived the accident, who was shifted to the hospital in critical condition.
The SDMA officials also asked the people to coordinate with the emergency control room (058-21921643) which had been established in Muzaffarabad to facilitate the rescue operation.
The district administration had also launched an operation to rescue the flood victims who were stranded in their homes. Teams of officials from district administration, disaster management authority and local police were despatched for the rescue operations.
In a statement shared by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the Pakistan Army has rescued at least 52 stranded individuals.
The military troops are assisting the civil administration in the ongoing rescue and relief operations launched following a landslide near Laswa village and flash floods in Neelum Jhelum River at Nauseri, Danni.
The military troops are assisting civil administration in the ongoing rescue and relief operations launched following landslide near Laswa village and flash floods in Neelum Jhelum River at Nauseri, Danni, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
DAMAGED COMMUNICATION SYSTEM:
The communication system in the area had been seriously disrupted while internet services had been suspended completely.
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had said that rain-thundershowers, accompanied by gusty winds, were expected at scattered areas of Kashmir, Islamabad, Hazara, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Faisalabad and Lahore divisions while the weather was expected to remain humid in other parts of the country.
On July 8, A glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) was reported in the Golain region of Chitral District in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) following which a huge area was inundated in floodwaters. The flood-like situation had developed in the tourist favourite spot when glacier ‘Azghor’ exploded.
“At least three houses and three shops have been damaged in the flood. No loss of life has been reported,” said provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) of the KP province.
“Rescue teams have been sent to the affected areas and have started their rescue work.”
The floodwater also caused a temporary suspension of water from Golain Hydel Power Station; however, it continued to produce electricity using the stored water.
This was the first incident of GLOF since 2015.
A similar incident had struck in Chitral, killing at least three people, in addition to extensive damage to property and infrastructure, affecting more than a quarter of a million.
A report on the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) had said the Karakoram and western Himalaya areas were seeing more variability and a higher probability of snowfall.
But Philippus Wester from the Nepal-based ICIMOD, who led the study, had said while some glaciers in Pakistan are stable and a few are even gaining ice, they will nonetheless all start to melt in time as the planet heats up.
The report had warned over a third of the ice in the region would melt by 2100 even if governments took tough action to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.