Islamabad, Aug 2 (EFE).- The Pakistani military on Tuesday confirmed the death of six of its personnel onboard a helicopter that had disappeared on Monday night while taking part in rescue operations in areas affected by monsoon floods.
“The wreckage of unfortunate helicopter which was on flood relief ops found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. All 6 officers & soldiers including Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali embraced shahadat (martyrdom),” tweeted the media wing of the Pakistan armed forces, the Inter-Services Public Relations
“Accident occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations,” it added.
The helicopter had lost contact with the air traffic control on Monday night while taking part in search and rescue operations amid severe floods in the southwestern Balochistan province, where 136 people have been killed in rain related incidents since the beginning of the monsoon season.
With the rest of the country, the toll goes up to 478, while 543 people have been injured, according to the latest bulletin by the National Disaster Management Authority.
According to NDMA figures, since June, 7,472 houses have been fully damaged by rains and 29,481 houses partially damaged.
Moreover, nearly 1,000 kilometers of roads have been damaged and 72 bridges have collapsed.
The ISPR said in a statement that the army and Frontier Corps troops are continuing flood relief activities in different flood hit areas of the country, as in the case of the soldiers who died in the chopper crash.
It said the troops are busy in rescue and relief efforts apart from providing medical care and opening up communication infrastructure.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted more rains in the affected areas in the coming days.
The monsoon season in South Asia – between June and September – brings heavy rains to the region that often trigger landslides and flooding, causing a high number of casualties and widespread material damage.
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
The country ranks among the 10 most affected countries by climate change. EFE