Nearly 200 killed in floods, rains in Pakistan

Nearly 200 killed in floods, rains in PakistanISLAMABAD: Nearly 200 people have been killed in floods and rain-related incidents in Pakistan with four days of incessant showers leaving a trail of death and destruction, officials said today.

The rains which started last week continued through the weekend in Punjab and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), resulting in floods in Chenab river inundating Gujrat, Gujranwala and Sialkot districts.

Floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have affected large swathes of fertile land in Pakistan’s largest province of Punjab, as authorities are struggling to contain the losses and rescue stranded people.

Floods and rain-related accidents have killed 193 people and injured another 364 across Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said. Out of the 193 killed, 119 have died in Punjab and PoK.

The Khanki, Marala and Qadirabad barrages have been inundated by floods in the Chenab and risk being breached. The floods are also threatening the city of Hafizabad.

The deluge has so far affected 556 villages, mostly in Gujranwala and Sialkot, where thousands of people are trapped and houses submerged with livestock washed away, the NDMA said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made an aerial survey of flood-hit areas of Sialkot and urged that rescue and relief operations should be speeded up.

The NDMA has warned of flooding in river Indus between September 13 and 14 at Guddu town in Sindh and at Sukkur on September 15.

Punjab’s five rivers wash into the Indus at Panjnad before it enters the Sindh province.

TV footage showed people standing on rooftops of their submerged houses while cattle were being swept away by powerful currents.

The floods have destroyed crops on more than 28,000 acres of land in Punjab. The damage has mainly been caused by the flooding of Chenab and Jhelum rivers.

Several people are still missing in the flood-hit areas as army continued its rescue operations, media reports said.–PTI

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