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Heavy downpours leave 165 killed, 171 injured in Pakistan

Islamabad: As many as 165 people were killed and 171 others injured in separate rain-related accidents during the pre-monsoon season in Pakistan since June 14, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Wednesday.

The country's southwest Balochistan province remained the worst-hit region where 65 people died and 49 others sustained injuries due to torrential rains that triggered flash floods, Xinhua reported.

Local media also reported several incidents of dam bursts, which swept away scores of houses and infrastructures. The Balochistan government on Tuesday imposed section 144 in the province amid more forecasts of rains for a month, a statement by the chief minister's office of the province said.

According to section 144, the public will be restricted from going for picnics at rivers, dams, and other water reservoirs. Swimming in rivers and water streams will also be banned.

Thirty-eight people were killed in separate accidents in Sindh province including the provincial capital of Karachi which has suffered heavy downpours for over a week.

The country's Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said in a tweet on Wednesday that Sindh and Balochistan were still under heavy monsoon pressure for the last 13 days during which they received 625 per cent and 501 per cent more rains, respectively, above the 30-year average.

She said that a further rise in heavy rainfall is expected in the coming days with a weather cycle focusing on Sindh and Balochistan for high precipitation.

According to the NDMA, 24 people were killed by heavy rains in the northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 23 in the east Punjab province, and 15 in other parts of the country.

It said that 171 people were injured including 61 in Punjab, 49 in Balochistan, 37 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 24 in other parts of the country, reported Xinhua.

A total of 1,319 animals perished in different parts of the country. About 350 houses were fully destroyed and 781 others were partially destroyed during torrential rains.

Relief operations by the NDMA are underway across the country. The authority is providing tents, tarpaulins, quilts, anti-mosquito nets, food packets, and lifesaving jackets to the people in rain-affected areas, local media reported. (ANI)

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