Floods kill over 100 in Pakistan

July 29th, 2010 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, July 29 (DPA) Flash floods triggered by torrential rains have killed over 100 people and injured dozens more in Pakistan’s north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, local media reported Thursday.
Thousands more were left homeless as the monsoon rains lashed the country.

“So far 108 people have died due to rain-related accidents in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province alone,” Urdu-language broadcaster Dunya TV reported.

At least 16 people were killed in provincial capital Peshawar, the city’s civilian administrator Sahibzada Anis said, and another four died in nearby Nowshera.

Over 274 mm of rain fell in 24 hours, the highest recorded in 34 years, the national Meteorological Department said.

Most of the deaths in the cities were due to electrocution or the collapse of mud houses, which are common in the poor urban neighbourhoods, the reports said.

Thirty-eight people including women and children died in the Swat and Shangla districts of the province as rivers and mountain streams burst their banks and swept away houses.

An official said that over 100,000 people were affected by rain and floods in Charsada district, 30 km north-east of Peshawar.

Telephone and internet services were suspended in Peshawar, effectively cutting it off as floods blocked all main roads to the city.

Floods washed away several bridges in the north-western tribal region along the Afghan border.

Monsoon rains also hit the eastern province of Punjab where several low-lying areas around provincial capital Lahore were flooded.

An emergency has been declared in the area around the Mangla dam 200 km north of Lahore, the biggest reservoir in the province.

In the south-western province of Baluchistan, the reservoir of the Bolan hydro-electric dam overflowed, inundating dozens of villages in Nasirabad district.

Last week dozens of people were killed in floods in the impoverished province of Baluchistan, where people complained about slow rescue operations.

Pakistan, like most South Asian countries, experiences an annual monsoon, which brings heavy rains to the whole subcontinent for much of July.

The current rains started Tuesday, the Meteorological Department said, and were predicted to last until Saturday. The monsoon season may last until September, with more rain possibly on its way.

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