97 dead, 101 injured due to torrential rain in Pak

At least 97 people were killed and 101 others injured across Pakistan after torrential rain lashed he country in the last three weeks, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

Balochistan province remained the worst hit where 49 people were killed and 48 others injured in the ongoing spell of monsoon rain that started on Monday, according to a situation report released by the NDMA.

A total of 17 people were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, followed by 11 in Sindh, 10 in the north Gilgit Baltistan region, and 10 more in other parts of the country, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Authority as saying.

Two roads, five bridges, and five shops were swept away by flash floods across the country, whereas 226 houses were completely destroyed and 481 others partially destroyed, it added.

The NDMA said 1,326 cattle also perished in separate incidents across the country.

Most of the deaths and injuries happened due to electrocution, roof collapse, and flash floods caused by blockages of large water drainages in urban areas.

Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman told a press conference earlier this week that the country has seen 87 per cent more rains than normal during the monsoon season this year.

She added that there had been 16 incidents of glacier bursts in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, caused by the extreme heatwave.

The Minister said Pakistan is among the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world, stressing that the public should start taking measures to mitigate the weather impacts or things will get worse in the future.

“The recent rain disaster is a national tragedy. It is a matter of great concern, but we should realize that it is only the beginning and we have to prepare for it,” she added.

The official warned that the water levels in the country are consistently falling, though an improvement has been witnessed due to the recent rains.

The people have to use water with caution otherwise there might be an acute water shortage in the coming days.

She said the monsoon started earlier than usual this year, and the changing rain patterns are one of the obvious indicators of climate change.

During this monsoon season, the worst-hit Balochistan and Sindh provinces received 274 per cent and 261 per cent more rain than usual.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced a compensation of 1 million PKR for families of the victims.

Expressing grief over the loss of lives, he directed the rescue teams to speed up the pace of relief work to ease the sufferings of the people living in the areas inundated by water.

In a weather advisory, the NDMA said the current spell of rain is expected this week, after which the weather is expected to remain dry and hot in most parts of the country.

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