14 die in G – B rains

GILGIT: Fourteen people, three of them girls, died on Friday in various parts of Gilgit-Baltistan as torrential rains continued to wreak havoc in Gilgit-Baltistan, senior government officials said.

Four bridges have also been swept away by the rising flood in various parts of the region, isolating it from the rest of the country.

In district Diamer, seven people were killed in flood related incidents, Home Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan Asif Lodhi told The News by phone. He said three girls died after a bridge was swept away by floods in Chilas. “We are collecting data from different districts and fear that the losses can go much higher,” Lodhi said. He said that the damage to the infrastructure could be very high but the complete picture of devastation caused by the rains would be clear once they received data from various district heads.

Two people were killed in Ghizer and a similar number in Astor after lightning hit a remote village late Thursday. In addition, three hydel power generation units in Gilgit, Astor and Chilas were badly affected after landslides hit them, pushing the whole region into darkness.

Officials of the Disaster Management Authority in Gilgit said that 260 houses were inundated in Gilgit, 160 in Ghizer, 15 in Astor and 10 in Chilas by floods. “We will provide food and shelter to the displaced people for one week,” Lodhi said.

Meanwhile, officials said that the mountainous terrain, coupled with incessant rains, had made access difficult for government to reach out to the victims immediately. “The Karakoram Highway has been blocked at various places from Hunza to Rawalpindi due to landslides,” the officials said, adding that the Ghizar-Chitral Road had been swept away near Gich by the rising river. Local people term the destruction caused by the current floods as unprecedented in the region’s history.

In Gilgit, the Baseen area, Chamogarh Colony, Press Club, G-B Legislative Assembly, and many other low-lying areas were inundated. One of the main roads, the River View Road, in Gilgit town remained blocked on Friday after its major portion was submerged in water.

Source: The NEWS

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