Pakistan: Death toll from heavy rain, floods rises to 58
ISLAMABAD: Monsoon rain and floods have killed at least 58 people across Pakistan and affected tens of thousands of others, officials said Monday, warning of more rain to come.
“At least 58 people have died, more than 30 others were injured and 66,000 were affected by rain and flooding in Pakistan since July 31,” Brigadier Mirza Kamran Zia, operations chief of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), told reporters.
Zia said floods were receding and people were returning to their homes, but he warned that more rain than usual was expected this month and next.
NDMA chief Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem said the recurring flooding was the result of global climate change.
“Unexpected rains are global climatic change phenomena, but we can prepare and plan ahead to mitigate the disaster,” Aleem said.
“We are worried about cental Pakistan this year, where more rain and flooding from hill torrents is expected,” Aleem said.
Flash floods following monsoon rain paralysed parts of the largest city Karachi at the weekend.
Authorities in the city of 18 million people, which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan’s GDP, said it would take more than two days to clear up after the water flooded markets, buildings and houses and blocked roads.
Hundreds of cars were half-submerged after poor sewerage and drainage systems became blocked due to garbage.
In the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, homes were swept away.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent three of his cabinet ministers to inspect damage in flood-hit areas.
Earlier, the National Disaster Management Authority warned that some rivers may continue to flood.
According to the information available on the NDMA’s website, River Indus at Kalabagh and Chashma and River Kabul at Nowshera may attain medium to high flood level.
All departments and people concerned have been advised to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid any loss of life and damage to public and private property.
Pakistan regularly suffers from flooding during the monsoon season, which usually runs through July and August. The country suffered the worst floods in its 66-year history in 2010, when floodwaters inundated one-fifth of the country, killing over 1,700 people. More than 20 million people were affected at the time.