x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rain, flash floods kill 78 in Pakistan: officials

Heavy monsoon rains, which began last week, destroyed more than 1,600 houses and damaged a further 5,000.

Pakistani residents look at a collapsed house caused by torrential rain in Sukkur yesterday.
Pakistani residents look at a collapsed house caused by torrential rain in Sukkur yesterday.

ISLAMABAD // At least 78 people died and dozens more injured in torrential rains and flash floods in Pakistan over the past three days, a government spokesman said yesterday.

Heavy monsoon rains, which began last week, destroyed more than 1,600 houses and damaged a further 5,000, Irshad Bhatti, with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said. Most of the casualties were caused by houses collapsing and people being caught in floods.

The worst-hit region was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where 32 people died and 26 injured in several districts, he said.

In the north-western district of Swabi eight Afghan refugees were killed when the roof of their mud house collapsed overnight, police said. The dead, who were members of the same family, included two women and six children aged between one and 12 years.

In Pakistan-administered Kashmir flash floods killed at least 31 people, Mr Bhatti said, just a month after heavy rains led to the deaths of at least 26 people in the same region.

At least four people were killed in central Punjab province where more than 200 houses were damaged, officials said.

The toll was expected to rise considerably with unconfirmed reports of more than 30 killed in Sindh province.

"The provincial government has declared an emergency in Jacobabad, Khairpur, Kashmore districts which have been badly affected by the rains," Haleem Shaikh, advisor to the Sindh government said.

"Hundreds of people have been displaced so far, we fear for many more people going homeless as the rains are still incessant in those districts."

A state of emergency has also been declared in the Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts of the Punjab province, where army troops have been called to join rescue work, local administration officials aid.