The recent flood of the year 2022 during the monsoon period in Pakistan has severely disturbed all of the economic activities, especially the tourism industry in Pakistan. It was due to high temperature in the summer season and the melting of glaciers at a higher rate as compared to previous years. The percentage of rainfall in monsoon is higher as compared to that of previous years. The recent rains in Pakistan have broken the last 70 years' record. The water level in rivers has increased due to water released by India. More than 50% physical area of Pakistan is affected partially due to heavy rain and flood, whereas nearly 30% of locations are severely affected. Several connecting roads and bridges are damaged due to floods in various cities. Several cities and towns are disconnected from other cities in the country.
Heavy rains in Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir had increased the flow in the streams and rivers, which was the cause of damage to various bridges in these areas. This overflow of water put extra pressure on main rivers all over Pakistan. Numerous landslides are also another cause of the blockage and damage of roads. As a result, most of the valleys are disconnected and not accessible by any means.
In the plains of Punjab and Sindh, most of the rural areas are severely disturbed due to heavy floods in rivers and thunderstorms. Most of the roads in these areas completely vanished after the flow of flood waters. There are more than six to ten feet of water there. Urban life is also disturbed due to damaged roads and the failure of the transportation system. Karachi was severely affected due to heavy rain, and there was water on almost every street and road in Karachi. It was due to malfunctioning of the drainage system. Most of the areas were in flood due to the overflow of the Malir stream.
Heavy rain has paralyzed the Balochistan province in every aspect. Quetta and surrounding cities were isolated due to heavy floods that damaged Dams and bridges in various areas. Most of the infrastructure in Balochistan becomes scrap after flow of flood waters.
The flood in Pakistan this year paralyzed the overall infrastructure of the country. The tourism industry is affected most due to damages by floods and heavy rains. Roads and bridges are crucial for the tourism industry. The success of the tourism industry depends upon the construction of roads and bridges. Due to the fear of unexpected further damage, people would not be able to travel in any case. So, it becomes difficult for tourists to get out of that area. Therefore, tourists try to avoid traveling on these days of heavy rain and flood. The construction of roads and bridges is not a one-day job. It takes some days to make a temporary exit by repairing roads. But the actual rebuilding of roads and bridges takes several months.
Tourism is severely affected due to heavy rainfall and floods in rivers in various provinces of Pakistan. Heavy rain affects nearly all of the cities and towns in Pakistan. Transportation and infrastructure around the tour sites are adversely affected. In the coming paragraphs, we could estimate the level of damage in various provinces that impacts negatively on the tourism industry.
Cloudburst in the Neelum valley caused a heavy flood in the Neelum River and disturbed all of the movements in the valley. It also becomes difficult to travel due to landslides on the road. Due to heavy rain in Muzaffarabad, there is increase in water level in the Neelum and Jhelum River. Numerous roads has been blocked due to landslides in different valleys and villages. India has also released water in the Ponch River, so there is a heavy flood in the river in the Kotli district.
Continuous rainfall in Diamer, Astore, and Gilgit has blocked the Karakoram Highway at multiple locations due to landslides. Astore road is also not available for safe drive due to landslides. Ishkoman valley was also not accessible due to glacier lake outburst. The Nalter valley road is also blocked due to heavy rain, whereas the roads leading to Kharmang and Ghanche valleys are not safe to drive due to mudslides. A bridge flowed into the river due to the outburst of a glacier lake in the Shishper Valley. A bridge in Hassanabad, Hunza also severely damaged due to heavy flow in the river over the Karakorum Highway. Sadpara Road was also severely damaged due to heavy landslides in the area.
The Karakorum Highway near Chilas has been blocked due to landslides, so access to Skardu, Hunza, and Gilgit is not accessible. In the Upper Kohistan region, a temporary ramp road on the Ichar Nullah has also been swept away due to further heavy floods in the river, which has disconnected Gilgit Baltistan completely from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. Now tourists are reluctant to visit these areas during the recent monsoon and flood.
Due to heavy rainfall in Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur districts, there are three to six feet of water in lower areas. The water level in the Chenab River is also high, which has affected villages in Alipur and Jatoi Tehsils.
Heavy rainfall in Koh-e-Sulaiman range, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Ranjanpur have disturbed most of the settlements in the area. Bela Bridge was destroyed due to flash floods in Rod Kohi Vidor, and it has disconnected Balochistan from Punjab. The landslide near Neeli Matti in Fort Menro blocked the road to Fort Menro. Due to the blockage of the National Highway, Dera Ghazi Khan and other surrounding towns have been cut off from the country. It has become difficult to access Fort Manro, even though it was not affected by the flood directly. Therefore, the movement of tourists has become restricted due to damaged infrastructure in the surrounding areas and Dera Ismail Khan.
Due to heavy rainfall in Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur districts, there are three to six feet of water in lower areas. The water level in the Chenab River is also high, which has affected villages in Alipur and Jatoi Tehsils. Heavy rainfall in Koh-e-Suleman Range and overflown of the Indus River destroyed the infrastructure of the Taunsa Sharif.
Number of landslides are reported in different areas of Murree due to continual rainfall. It also blocked Kashmir Highway near Aliot and disturbed the traffic going to Galyats.
Heavy rainfalls have destroyed bridges, roads, and other infrastructure in Chitral and its various valleys. Denin, Booni, Reshun, and Terich village are affected severely due to heavy floods. Due to the overflow of rivers, roads in these valleys are blocked or damaged. The Dir-Chitral road near Lowari Tunnel has been blocked due to a heavy flood. Several tourists were blocked in Meragham Upper Chitral due to blockage in the River Yarkhon. There is a heavy flow of water in the Chitral River and its tributaries, so other locations were also in danger. So tourists have to cancel their visit to Chitral during the monsoon.
Due to heavy rainfall and flood in the Swat River, numerous damages have occurred in the Swat Valley, especially near Mingora. Overflown of Swat River and landslides also damaged the road in various locations in Swat valley.
A bridge over the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhan road, was destroyed due to a flash flood in the Battal area in Kaghan Valley. It disconnected Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from Gilgit-Baltistan. Heavy flood in the Kunhar River also washed away bridges and part of the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road. There were also several landslides in the Kaghan valley and Hazara division by heavy rain, and roads are closed at different locations.
Due to heavy flood in the Kabul River and its tributary, there are several damages in the Shabqar tehsil of Charsadda. It also damages several areas in the Nowshera district.
Heavy rainfall in Karachi, Badin, and Thatta has destroyed the intensive infrastructure of the towns. Several villages in Thatta and Badin are destroyed and unable to access. The urban life of Karachi was disturbed due to four to six feet of water in most of the streets and roads.
Heavy rainfalls and rising water in the Indus River and its distributaries has destroyed most of the lands in various districts of Sindh, especially Sukkur, Larkana, Dadu, Jackobabad, Hyderabad, etc. Due to blockages and destruction of the roads, most of these cities were disconnected from therest of the country. Heavy floods in the Indus River and rainfall in Larkana and Khairpur districts disturb the overall life structure. There is a danger of dumping 4500 years old Mohenjo Dero site that is just a few kilometers from the Indus River.
Due to heavy rainfall and the overflow of Hanna Lake in Barkhan, Kohlu, and Sibbi, the Nardwal bridge was destroyed that connects Barkhan and Kohlu. Flood water also destroyed various trees and gardens in Killa Saifullah and Zhob. The heavy flood destroyed Several villages in Sibbi and Zhob districts. National Highway N50, DI Khan- Kuchlak-Quetta road, was blocked due to landslides in Dhana Sar in Balochistan. A bridge connecting the Lasbela district with other cities was washed away due to heavy floods. A bridge connecting Quetta and Kohlu was destroyed, and it has isolated Quetta from Punjab province. Overflow of rivers and heavy rainfalls also destroyed overall infrastructures, dams, and bridges in Quetta. Heavy floods in the Bolan River have destroyed the 24-inch-wide gas pipeline and several bridges.
Ziarat was also affected due by heavy rain and flood in rivers in surrounding areas. All of the transportation links in the area have been disturbed. So all movements toward the Ziarat city and Chaman border were severely affected due to heavy floods and damages in Quetta city and Dera Ismail Khan.
It is impossible to travel to any part of the country in the current situation. Flood has damaged all of the infrastructure and transportation system. It is not possible to restore these in a few days. The rebuilding of roads and infrastructure will take several months, so the tourism industry and its associated industries will face many problems in the next few months. No tour and tourism-related activities are possible in the next few months.
In the end, I would like to pray for the betterment and development of the country and the restoration of all of the damaged infrastructure in the shortest possible time. It will make the tourism industry to present the historical and beautiful valleys of Pakistan to visitors.