Pakistan: 20 killed as rains, flashfloods hit across Pakistan

13th Mar 2016
Pakistan: 20 killed as rains, flashfloods hit across Pakistan

By Aamir Latif

 

KARACHI, (AA): Torrential rains accompanied by flashfloods have killed at least 20 people over the last two days in northwestern and southwestern Pakistan, officials and local media reported on Saturday.

Most of the fatalities have been reported from the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) and the southwestern Balochistan provinces, where heavy rainfall and flashflooding have isolated entire villages, damaged roads and caused homes to collapse.

At least eight miners were killed and many others were trapped when a coalmine collapsed in northwest Pakistan on Saturday. The coalmine caved in due to heavy rain in Lower Orakzai Agency in country’s tribal belt.

The current death toll includes at least eight children, according to local health officials.

Local television channels showed gushing rainwater inundating homes — with residents taking refuge on rooftops — in Quetta, Zhob, Taank, Pishin, Loralai, Chaman, Chagai, Mastung and other districts.

Accompanied by thunder and hailstorms, heavy rainfall caused several homes to collapse in the Mastung, Khyber Agency, Chagai and Zhob districts, killing 12 people and injuring scores of others.

Grabbing whatever they could salvage, local residents in effected areas — including women and children — could be seen wading through knee-deep water in search of higher ground.

Dozens of mud homes have been entirely washed away by surging flashfloods, forcing local administrators in flood-hit districts to direct residents to schools and other government buildings.

Torrential rain coupled with high winds uprooted trees and electricity towers in affected areas, causing wide-ranging power outages, the local Capital TV channel reported.

The Pakistan Metrological Office, for its part, has issued a flood warning for several parts of KP province, warning that the rainy spell would likely go on for another two days.

The authorities fear outbreaks of disease in flood-hit areas, where marooned residents have been forced to drink rainwater and eat unhygienic food.

Pakistan experienced massive flooding in 2010 and 2011, which inundated an estimated one fifth of the country and caused some 2,000 deaths.

And in 2014, over 240 people were killed in Pakistan by torrential rainfall coupled with flashfloods.

 

Additional reporting by The Muslim News

 

[Photo: Swat Valley Bridge ruined by flood water in 2010. Photo by DVIDSHUB/Public Domain]

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