Relentless rains, flooding kill another 33 across Pakistan

Hundreds of thousands of people hit by massive downpours and flashfloods across country.

Relentless rains, flooding kill another 33 across Pakistan

Raging flooding along with relentless rains killed another 33 people across Pakistan over the past two days, aside from inundating large swaths, washing away infrastructures, and triggering landslides, officials and local media reported on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been directly affected by flooding caused by torrential downpours in all four provinces, the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, a state-run agency that coordinates multiple relief and rescue organizations, over 650 people have died in the ongoing monsoon season, with 215 of them in southwestern Balochistan alone, since June 14.

Thousands of people have been marooned in southern Sindh, Balochistan, and northeastern Punjab provinces after the latest round of rains and flashfloods submerged hundreds of villages and large swaths of farmland and washed away houses, roads, bridges, and animals in the past 24 hours.

Most of the casualties were reported from Sindh, which had been battered by a 28-hour long rain spell, where at least 20 people died due to electrocution, roof and wall crashes, and drowning over the past 24 hours, local broadcaster ARY News reported.

Three members of a family, including two women, were killed when the roof of their house collapsed on Saturday in Larkana, the hometown of two-time late Premier Benazir Bhutto, Geo News reported.

Images on social media showed her ancestral home being inundated by rainwaters.

The remaining deaths were reported from Balochistan, Punjab, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, where dozens of towns were cut off from the rest of the country due to washing away of roads and bridges, and landslides.

Several northern districts of Sindh, including Hyderabad, Larkana, Khairpur, Shikarpur, MirpurKhas Nawabshah, and Sukkur were badly hit by rains, cloudbursts, and flooding.

Divers recovered the bodies of five of a seven-member family washed away by raging waters in Karachi's eastern district three days ago.

Footage broadcast on local TV channels showed main streets and highways in the respective areas resembling rivers, as well as muddy brown rainwaters lapping against the roofs of mud houses in low-lying areas.

Another footage showed dozens of people wading through waist-high rainwaters to reach safer places.

Gusty winds dismantled hundreds of tents and uprooted trees, and utility poles in several parts of Balochistan.

In Punjab's southern districts of Dear Ghazi Khan, Muzzafergadh, and Kot Addu, tens of thousands of people have either taken refuge in higher places along the main highways or lying in the open sky, the local media reported.

Dere Ghazi Khan's Taunsa town has been the hardest hit, with thousands of people fleeing to safer areas and thousands more stranded due to heavy rains and flooding.

The main highway connecting Quetta, Balochistan's capital, and Karachi was inundated at several points, halting traffic between the two cities.

The Meteorological Department of Pakistan has forecast another rain spell to hit the country's northwestern and northeastern parts, including the capital Islamabad, beginning on Aug. 23.

Hüseyin Demir

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