Pakistan nearly reaches grim milestone of 1,000 deaths in rain-related mishaps

Another 45 people die in country's continuing monsoon floods, downpours, dozens go missing over past day.

Pakistan nearly reaches grim milestone of 1,000 deaths in rain-related mishaps

Pakistan on Saturday has nearly reached the grim milestone of 1,000 deaths in rain-related incidents, which have been triggered by torrential rains and swirling floods across the country since mid-June.

Another 45 people were killed and dozens went missing in the past 24 hours as monsoon downpours and roaring floodwaters continued to pound the country, according to officials and local media.

With half of the South Asian nuclear country under water, the government announced a full-fledged deployment of the army in all four provinces, and the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region to back the civil administration, which is struggling to cope with the unprecedented magnitude of the catastrophe, state-run Pakistan Television reported.

The latest flooding caused by incessant rains displaced thousands more in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, southwestern Balochistan and southern Sindh provinces, adding to the already increasing number of victims.

Most of the fatalities were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, followed by Sindh and Balochistan, pushing the overall toll to 982 since June 14, according to Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority.

However, at a press conference in Islamabad, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the number was over 1,000.

The ongoing monsoon spells, combined with massive flash floods, have left 30 million Pakistanis without shelter, with tens of thousands displaced. Millions of people in flood-raked areas are without electricity and gas.

Raging waters from the Kabul River inundated Noshehra, Charsaddah and Madan districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the government has converted schools and government buildings into shelter camps for thousands of displaced people, local broadcaster Geo News reported.

Massive floods swept away hundreds of houses, restaurants, bridges, and even several multi-story hotels perched on the banks of the Swat River in the scenic Swat Valley, one of the favorite tourist attractions. At least 16 people lost their lives in rain-related accidents in the valley over the past 24 hours, according to the disaster agency.

The Indus and Gilgit rivers are in high floods, which may inundate more lands.

Because of the high flood in the Indus River, the administration has ordered the evacuation of several low-lying areas in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts of the northeastern Punjab province.

Six more dams have burst their banks in different parts of Balochistan, submerging dozens of villages and farmlands.

The southwestern Chaman border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed due to heavy rains and flooding.

The week-long rains that already destroyed much of the infrastructure and agriculture in the otherwise arid province have come to an end in the eastern districts, bringing relief to tens of thousands of marooned people.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday released a statement, saying that they are "deeply saddened by the loss of many of our Pakistani brothers" as a result of the heavy damage caused by floods.

Türkiye will send a plane carrying humanitarian aid to Pakistan "in order to heal the wounds of our Pakistani brothers who were affected by the flood," according to the statement.

Also, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari over the phone, offering his condolences for those who lost their lives in the floods and pledging Türkiye’s support.

Hüseyin Demir

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