Disasters & Accidents

At least 150 killed as heavy rains lash Pakistan

Islamabad, Jul 12 (EFE).- At least 150 people have been killed and over 160 injured in Pakistan over the past month in incidents caused by heavy monsoon rains that have been lashing South Asia, officials said on Tuesday.

The authorities maintained a high alert in the southern Sindh province, where incessant rains have continued since Monday over large parts, especially Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi.

At least 26 people have been killed in Sindh since Jun. 14 according to a report by the provincial disaster management authority, shared by the state-owned Radio Pakistan on Tuesday.

This took the total number of rain-related deaths in the country over the past month to 150, while the number of injured stood at 163.

The southwestern Balochistan province is the worst affected so far with 65 deaths, most of them children, according to latest figures released by the national disaster management authorities.

The other mortal victims have been reported from Punjab (23), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (21), Gilgit-Baltistan (10), Azad Kashmir (4) provinces and capital Islamabad.

The rains have also caused significant damage to infrastructure and houses, with more than 1,000 buildings being partially or completely destroyed, the NDMA said, although the full extent of the destruction is still being assessed.

The precipitation has also disrupted power supply in many regions, especially in the city of Karachi, where some residents have reported power cuts lasting up to 36 hours.

Emergency measures have been imposed in areas situated close to reservoirs, dams, rivers and other water bodies for one month, to prevent further incidents.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department on Tuesday warned of “vigorous monsoon activity” this week, with monsoon currents moving towards the north and central parts of the country.

“Another strong monsoon low pressure area (LPA) is likely to approach Sindh on 14th July” bringing torrential rains, the department tweeted.

Every year, rainfall related incidents – including floods and landsides – lead to significant human and property damage in South Asian countries, especially during the monsoon period between June and September.

One of the worst natural disasters in Pakistan’s history was the flooding in 2010 following an extraordinarily intense monsoon, which, combined with a massive summer thaw, left some 2,000 people dead and more than 20 million affected. EFE


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