Torrential rains inundate Gwadar, surrounding areas

Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

GWADAR/LAHORE: Gwadar and surrounding areas were inundated after heavy rain hit the southwestern parts of Balochistan as a western disturbance has been affecting the province for over two days.

The relentless downpour, which continued for over 10 hours, lashed Gwadar as the absence of drainage system meant rainwater not only accumulated on the roads and streets but also submerged the residential and commercial properties. Flooding is being reported in the streams and small rivers of the affected area after soil could not absorb the massive quantity of water produced by the intense rains.

As a result, many locals have been forced to leave their homes and shift to safer places on a self-help basis. Several houses and buildings have reportedly collapsed along with suspension of electricity supply and internet services.

Pakistan is now witnessing more and more extreme weather events under the worsening climate change crisis as global warming means the westerly system is carrying more water when compared to the past due to the higher evaporation rate produced by rising temperatures. Moreover, the weather pattern has been badly affected as rains are getting irregular and intense at the same time, which means more sunshine and long dry periods. The Met Office says Gwadar received 125mm of rain during the past 24 hours till 8am on Wednesday, which was in addition to 57-80mm recorded a day earlier.

At the same time, heavy rain was also recorded in Jiwani, another town located on Balochistan coast to the west of Gwadar where the total amount stood at 137mm. A similar situation was witnessed in the north of Gwadar in Chagai and adjoining areas of southwestern Balochistan. However, no rain data was available for these locations.

Meanwhile, nominated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed grave concern over the situation in Gwadar besides directing PMLN Balochistan workers to extend help immediately to affected persons. He further said, “Our sympathies are with the affected and we stand by them in this critical hour.” He said steps should be taken for reconstruction of destroyed homes.