Shahbaz Sharif meets children during his visit to flood-hit Balochistan province on Monday. Twitter photo
Shahbaz ordered strict action against the provincial administration over negligence in ensuring the availability of food and drinking water at the tent city set up to accommodate the flood-affected people.
The prime minister issued the directive during his visit to the tent city in the Khusnob area of Qila Saifullah district, saying that negligence over relief and rescue operations would not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, flash floods triggered by monsoon rains have killed 140 more people over the past week, officials said on Monday. The fatalities raised the overall death toll from rain-related incidents since June to 478 in Pakistan.
Rescue workers backed by the military have evacuated thousands of marooned people, including women and children, from the southwestern Baluchistan province, in the northwest and elsewhere since last week, when the government deployed helicopters to expand ongoing relief and rescue operations.
Deluges have completely destroyed or damaged nearly 37,000 homes in the flood-hit areas since June 14, according to a report released by the National Disaster and Management Authority. Authorities are delivering food and other necessary items to flood victims across the country.
Talking to journalists, Shahbaz expressed regret over the plight of displaced persons who faced unavailability of edible items at relief camps and were left with no other option but to travel back to their homes to get food.
He said loopholes had been identified regarding the lack of a record-keeping system at the medical relief system at camps and stressed addressing the issue at the earliest.
He expressed grief over the death of eight children at the relief camps and extended condolences to their families over their loss.
The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to ensure the disbursement of compensation money to the flood-affected people of Balochistan within 24 hours.
He mentioned that torrential rains led to heavy loss of lives and infrastructure in Balochistan, for which the federal government was determined to extend every possible assistance to the provincial government.
He asked the National Disaster and Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to pace up relief and rescue operations to best facilitate the victims and conduct a joint survey of damaged houses and crops.
Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said though the provincial government had ensured the availability of food rations for one month for the tent city, however, said, an inquiry would be conducted to find out the case of unavailability of food and water at the relief camps.
He said the District Commissioner of any flood-affected area, where negligence was reported, would be suspended immediately. Federal Minister for Housing Maulana Abdul Wasay said the government would make every effort to rehabilitate the displaced people due to floods.
10 dead as roof collapses in Azad Kashmir
In a separate development, at least ten people including women and children have been died as roof of a house collapsed in Tatta Pani area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials said Monday.
As per details, 10 people including five children and two women died and three others were injured when the roof of a house collapsed, rescue officials said.
According to rescue officials, two families were living in the affected house, while some guests were also present at the time of the accident. The building was owned by an employee of the local tourism department.
At least six persons drowned in the Arabian Sea in two separate accidents during the past 24 hours in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, a rescue organisation said.
According to the organisation, two teenagers drowned on Saturday while swimming at Hawke's Bay Beach in the city where they went for a picnic along with their friends.
After hours of search operation, both the bodies were found, the Edhi Foundation said, adding that one of the bodies was found on Saturday evening and the other on Sunday morning.
The latest floods-related fatalities were reported from the Swat region, a popular tourist destination where landslides overnight blocked a key mountain road, stranding scores of tourists who were being evacuated, said Taimur Khan.
The monsoon rains that wreaked havoc in the country resulted in the deaths of 304 people, including 118 children and damaged 8,889 houses, according to the NDMA.
The Pakistan army, Frontier Corps have been aiding the civil administration in rescue and relief operations in the provinces.
According to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), the unstable weather conditions are expected to be less severe on Saturday with a chance of rain on some northern and eastern coastal areas during the day, so that the weather conditions will be stable again from Sunday.
The incident took place in Al Quoz Industrial Area where an Asian girl filed a complaint that a gang kept her in an apartment where she was forced to work as a prostitute.
Five rockets fired at Israel; President Mahmoud Abbas declares three days of mourning; Jordan, Saudi slam raid; Palestinian move to snap ties with security forces in Israel a mistake, says Barbara Leaf.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the Israeli authorities to reduce escalation and not take steps to exacerbate tension and instability in the region.