Latest reports state that the death toll in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) has risen to 63 people while the figures are at 11 and 131 in Gilgit-Baltistan and Punjab, respectively.
According to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), 4,456 houses have been partially damaged and 2,483 houses have been fully damaged across Bhimber, Mirpur, Kotli, Rawlakot/Ponch, Havali, Bagh, Muzaffarabad, and Hattian in AJK. As per the same source, a total of 29,506 people have been affected in these areas. In Azad Jammu & Kashmir, rescue workers struggled to reach remote mountain villages in Neelum Valley along the Line of Control. Simultaneously, landslides hampered efforts.
Affected families in villages in AJK shared they could hardly manage to evacuate their houses and moved to elevated roadsides. They added that rushing waters made it difficult for them to find any time to shift their belongings and livestock. Jamal Din, a local resident of Chattar 2 Village which is located about seven kilometers from Bagh shared, “We were awakened to the sound of roaring boulders at 1:00 am and managed to save our lives. All of our belongings including food, clothing, and other bedding material was washed away and our homes as well. We could do nothing except watch with a heavy heart.”
Jam Din further informed the CWS-P/A team that shelter, food, and non-food items are their immediate needs. “We have to travel more than two kilometers to get clean drinking water which is adding to our miseries.”
The rains have inundated hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land and destroyed livestock. Several areas have been cut off from the rest country owing to disrupted infrastructure and communication and road links.
The floods have devastated the districts of Hafizabad, Sialkot, and Gujranwala located in Punjab. Nearly 200 villages in Hafizabad and over 80 villages in Chinot have been inundated while floodwaters entered Jhang city. As water recedes in many areas of Lahore and other districts, “a red alert” has been issued in four districts – Jhelum, Sialkot, Nankana Sahib, and Narowal – where the situation is still precarious.
While rains have stopped in most parts of the county, a significant flood forecast for the Indus River at Guddu and Sukkur has been issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). With possible floods expected in Sindh Province, the media reports that all relevant departments including the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) have been directed to remain vigilant over the situation. The media adds that all district departments have been told to remain alert and take necessary steps to minimize loss of life and property and evacuate at-risk population.
The late monsoon season, which lasts until October, combined with glacier melting will remain a threat for vulnerable families across the country. Prolonged spells of heavy rains can worsen the situation for those already displaced by the recent floods and for families living in low-lying areas throughout the country.
Currently CWS-P/A is planning to assist 2,000 families with food, 1,000 with non-food items, 400 with shelter kits, and 3,000 families with health assistance in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. CWS-P/A currently has a team in the affected areas of AJK while close monitoring of the situation across the country continues.