Monsoon rains kill 169 in Pakistan




A view of Canal Road Underpass near Ferozpur Road inundated. – Photo by Pakistan Today

Heavy monsoon rains and flash floods have killed 169 people in Pakistan, officials said Saturday, as forecasters warned of more rain in the coming days and troops raced to evacuate people from deluged areas.

The annual monsoon season has struck hard across the region, leaving people to wade through rushing water in towns and villages across Pakistan and in Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir, where authorities say they are seeing some of the worst flooding in decades.

At least 26 more people lost their lives in various incidents as heavy rains continued to lash parts of Punjab and Azad Kashmir reached 169 today.

According to reports, 16 people were killed in rain related incidents including roof collapse and electrocution in Sialkot while four more people lost their lives in other parts of Punjab.

In Azad Khasmir, six people were killed in Forward Kahuta village.

Flood waters in Pindi Bhattian have entered rural areas, inundating 40 villages. Currently, river Chenab is flowing in very high flood at Qadirabad locality in Hafizabad. Flood is also reported in Mandi Bahauddin.

According to Flood Control Room, 5 lacks and 57 thousand cusecs water is flowing at Mandi Bahahuddin. In North Waziristan, river Tochi is also flowing in high flood, submerging low-lying areas.

High flood was also recorded in Chiniot and Gujrat at river Chenab where 40 villages floodwaters inundated 40 villages. Meanwhile, DCO Multan has appealed to vacate rural areas at river Chenab, while district administration has also asked military for assistance. DCO Saleem Gondal said that 16 flood relief camps would be established in Multan.

The three-day torrential rains have inundated almost all of Lahore.

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Youngsters crossing the flooded Lakshami Chowk on LPG cylinder after heavy rain. — Photo by INP

Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, said at least 61 people died in the eastern Punjab province since Thursday. He said another 38 people died in the Pakistan’s portion of Kashmir and 11 died in northern Gilgit Baltistan province.

Kamal said officials believe all those were killed when the roofs of their homes collapsed. He said the delgue has injured 148 people across the country.

“We are dispatching tents and other relief items for those who have been affected because of rains and floods,” he said. He said the army helicopters and boats were evacuating people from affected areas.

State-run Pakistan television showed inundated villages, submerged roads and damaged homes across Pakistan and in its portion of Kashmir.

In a statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the deaths and destruction caused by the rains and floods were a great loss, noting that some 650 homes have been destroyed already.

“The government will leave no stone unturned to help the people in distress,” Sharif said.

Pakistan’s meteorological service said “widespread rain-thundershowers” were expected Saturday in various parts of the country.

Pakistan suffers widespread flooding during the annual monsoon season. In 2010, flash floods killed 1,700 people in Pakistan.


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