Horrific Floods Leave Over 200,000 People Stranded in Swat

Over 200,000 people are stuck in the remote areas of Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) after the district was inundated by floods last week.

The extraordinary rains in the valley transformed rivers into gushing torrents that destroyed roads and bridges, and isolated tourists and locals from adjacent cities even after the water subsided, leaving helicopters as the only rescue. option.

The Pakistan Army and the provincial government have saved hundreds of tourists and locals, some of whom needed emergency medical rescues, through helicopter missions. Government officials and doctors have been flown to the affected regions to help the victims.

Thousands of food relief packages have already been distributed, with some being airdropped through a helicopter when crowds made the landing impossible.

Swat’s Deputy Commissioner (DC), Junaid Khan, detailed that most of the evacuations involved stranded tourists.  He added that the locals are ready to stay behind if they are assured of food and healthcare supplies.

DC Khan also visited Saidu Sharif airfield in Swat where rescue missions are being coordinated and claimed that the local authorities have accessed the isolated locations that were previously inaccessible to other relief organizations.

Locals are urgently making temporary helipads for the rescue operations, with the first one near a mosque in Mankial, as it may take a long time to restore the road network linking the mountains and valleys.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s helicopter has rescued over 350 people from villages and carried twice the recommended capacity at times despite not being built for the purpose, and army helicopters have also rescued hundreds of people.

Around 21 people reportedly died in the region’s valleys, mostly because of collapsed houses or from being swept away by the floodwaters.

DC Khan said that the region has experienced the worst forms of terrorism, militancy, earthquakes, and floods, which is why hopes are high even if the challenges are monumental.

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