183 killed in GB, 87000 affected, 182 bridges washed away: Home Secretary

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Gilgit, August 17: According to statistic shared by Asif Bilal Lodhi, home secretary of Gilgit – Baltistan, around 183 people were killed in different parts of GB during various rain related hazards. Most of the deaths occurred in Skardu and Diamir districts due to annihilation of two villages.

The home secretary who is also the chairman of GB Disaster Management Authority, said that 2082 houses were destroyed in the seven districts, displacing over 20,000 people. He also said that a total of around 87000 people belonging to as many as 371 villages were directly and indirectly affected by the chain of disasters triggered by heavy downpour.

At least 182 small and large bridges have been washed away including around a dozen on the Karakuram Highway. Over 500 water channels have been destroyed and over five thousands cattle killed by floods, landslides and collapse of sheds.

Head of the GBDMA said that Army choppers had flown over 190 sorties to the far flung valleys supplying around 48 tonnes (48000 kilograms) of relief goods. He also said that hundreds of stranded people were evacuated by the choppers to safety.

The official statistics present a gory picture of the state of affairs in Gilgit – Baltistan. The resource less GB government is looking for support from the federal government and international donors.

The process of infrastructure development in GB seems to have come to a grinding halt with destruction of 947 kilometers of roads. Access to the far flung valleys is already an emerging issue that has grave consequences for food security of the poorest communities.

Ramifications of this disaster are likely to throw the entire region back in to the poverty trap, from which it had been trying to crawl out for decades

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