Islamabad, July 5: Darel Valley has been hit massive floods and around 3,000 people have been displaced from their houses. More than 70 houses have been washed away completely and around 102 houses have been damaged by flash floods in Gumari Nala of Tehsil Darail.
Al-Khidmat Foundation officials have said that the floods hit the Darel valley on the night of 4th July. It is pertinent to note that on the night of July 4 a 5.2 magnitude earthquake had also hit the valley at almost the same time.
Apparently, the scale of the disaster remained unknown for almost two days, due to remoteness of the valley, as well due to a sense of panic created by the attack on a police station two days back and the resultant launching of a search operation in the Darel Valley.
A survey team of Al-Khidmat Foundation has reported that the displaced people are facing great difficulties due to absence of relief and support.
The local people have demanded of the government to reach the disaster hit Gumari Nallah and assist the disaster hit people. So far, no NGOs or government departments have reached the valley.
It is pertinent to note that in 2010 and 2011 the Diamer district was affected by rain related floods and almost hundred people had lost their lives in two major disasters in the Khainar area.
Settlements in the valley have been developed in dangerous locations, on slopes and at the foot of hills, like other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. Despite of the major disaster threats in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, the government has been ignoring the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. In the recently passed budget, no significant allocation was made for launching DRR related activities. Diamer is one of the most neglected districts of Gilgit-Baltistan in terms of disaster preparedness. NGOs are active in other six districts in the region, but generally avoid working in Diamer due to perceived threats. In this scenario, the government’s lack of attention has further made the communities vulnerable, adding to miseries of the people and putting their lives at risk.