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Flash floods in Pakistan kill 80

September 10, 2012 21:50 IST

At least 80 people were killed and dozens more injured as heavy rains and flash floods caused havoc in parts of Pakistan over the past three days, with the government calling out the army to help cope with the situation at several places.

Several people were swept away by swollen rivers in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, while dozens more died when houses collapsed following the heavy rains.

Over 1,500 houses were destroyed and thousands more damaged since the heavy monsoon rains began last week, officials said.

Officials put the death toll at 80 and said nearly as many were injured in rain-related incidents across the country.

The worst-hit regions were Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and PoK, where over 60 people died.

Heavy showers were reported from many parts of Pakistan on Monday.

Jacobabad city in Sindh province recorded 440 mm of rain since Sunday, breaking a 100-year-old record, officials of the Met Department said.

Officials said the average rainfall in Jacobabad in September is usually 11 mm.

All the upper areas of Sindh had reported over 100 mm of rains so far, officials said.

In Multan district of Punjab province, where a young boy and his sister were electrocuted during the rains, the authorities called in the Engineering Corps of the Pakistan Army to help plug breaches in a canal in Dera Ghazi Khan.

People fled their homes after water from the swollen canal began flowing towards Dera Ghazi Khan city early Monday morning.

Several neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city were submerged.

Five schools were declared relief centres for people made homeless by the floods.

The army was also called out in Shikarpur district of Sindh province, where authorities declared an emergency after some 150 houses collapsed.

Officials said three persons were killed and 40 more injured in rain-related incidents in the region.

In Swabi district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, three women and six children - all members of an Afghan refugee family - were killed when the roof of their mud house collapsed.

The Met Office said heavy rains would continue for the next two days in southern Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

Rescue teams are closely monitoring the situation, officials said.

President Asif Ali Zardari directed the National Disaster Management Authority to gear up efforts to provide relief to people affected by heavy rains across the country.

The President, while expressing concern at the loss of lives and damage to the property, said the situation called for greater coordination and concerted efforts to minimise further losses.

Last year, floods affected nearly six million people and devastated livestock, crops and infrastructure even as Pakistan was struggling to recover from the unprecedented deluge of 2010.

In 2010, unprecedented monsoon rains triggered devastating floods across the country and affected more than 20 million people.

Nearly 2,000 people were killed in the floods that year.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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