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     October 27,  2015



Death toll reaches 34 in Chitral District caused by the Earthquake

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The death toll caused by the earthquake on Monday last rose to 34 which was estimated at 22 on the day of occurrence while the number of seriously injured was 165 out which three were removed to Peshawar by helicopters on Tuesday.

District police officer Abbas Majeed Khan Marwat while talking to Chitral Times put the number of totally collapsed houses at 493 and partially collapsed at 993 across the district and said that Arandu was the worst hit area.

Deputy commissioner Osama Ahmed Warraich, however, said that the district administration has yet to complete the assessment of the number of damaged houses for which he has constituted ten number of teams.

He said that he got the approach road to the Lowari tunnel opened for traffic to keep the district connected with the rest of the rest of the country and also opened the Chitral-Booni road which was blocked at Kuragh by clearing the heavy debris.

He said that on his request, the Aga Khan Foundation helicopter removed seven seriously injured persons from Laspur valley to the hospital in Booni and Chitral while one was sent to Islamabad in addition to the one who was lifted to Peshawar hospital by the Army helicopter.

Meanwhile, the affected people in different remote villages of the district have complained that they have received no aid package from the government as yet while they have been rendered homeless.

Inayatullah Baig, a resident of Charun Oveer, an isolated village in upper Chitral, said that his village consisted of 135 households out of which seventy have been completely damaged and the women and children are taking refuge in a worship place.

He said that the men folk of the affected houses are left with no option other than living their nights under the open sky while they not a single morsel of food while the government has yet to deliver food package to them.

Mr. Baig apprehended that the situation is going from bad to worse with each passing moment and a human tragedy can take place as the people were already suffering from abject poverty and the village badly lacked basic facilities.

One Muhammad Imran from Aryan Drosh also complained of non-delivery from the administration and said that no food package or tent was delivered in his village where most people passed their nights under the open sky as their homes have collapsed.

“We have also lost all our food items buried under the debris of the collapsed houses and wait eagerly for food package from the government as well as the non-governmental organizations but to no avail”, he said.

Isa Ali, a councilor from Parwak village said that seven houses of the village were fully damaged but no tent or food package was delivered to them by the government while it were the villagers who managed tents for them to where they shifted.

Corps commander Peshawar Lt Gen Hedyatur Rahman visited Chitral on Tuesday and visited a number of affected villages and also visited the DHQ hospital where he delivered gifts to the injured on behalf of Pak Army.

Meanwhile, the NGOs including Al-Khidmat Foundation, Falah Insaniat Foundation and FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance (an organ of Aga Khan Foundation) are engaged in providing package in Chitral town.

The earthquake has also destroyed the two water supply schemes of Golen and Angargoon to Chitral City and its adjacent villages as the falling boulders have damaged the pipelines while no work on restoration of the schemes was started on Tuesday despite the fact that the people are facing acute shortage of the commodity.


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