Floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa kill hundreds

Photo: BBC Urdu

From BBC
The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool says whole villages have been washed away
Over 300 people have been killed in floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in northern Pakistan, officials say.

The Edhi Foundation – a privately run aid agency – says that 291 people have died in the last three days in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

Officials in Pakistani-administered Kashmir say that 22 people have been killed over the same time period.

Weather officials say that Peshawar, capital of KP, received 302mm (12in) of rain in the last three days.

They say that is the largest amount of rainfall in the city for several decades. The rest of the province received between 250mm and 300mm rain over the same time period.

Provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that nearly 400,000 people have been displaced in two days.

He said that there had been extensive damage to the communications infrastructure of the province and in some cases entire villages have been washed away by flash-floods.

The provincial government has declared an emergency.

While the north-west of the country has borne the brunt of the flooding, the south-western province of Balochistan has also been hit hard by the recent rains and crops in Punjab province are reported to have been ruined.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan says there was some respite from heavy rainfall on Friday but more is forecast across much of Pakistan over the weekend.

Our correspondent says that those hit hardest by the flooding are mostly the rural poor who live in flood-prone areas because they cannot afford safer land.

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In pictures: Pakistan floods
The twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi received 190mm rain over the last few days, the Met office said.

Hundreds of motorists were trapped as the downpour flooded Islamabad’s roads on Thursday evening, while most areas of Rawalpindi were inundated.

Residents of Pakistani-administered Kashmir were hit by landslides caused by the heavy rainfall.

They told the BBC that there was no electricity in some parts of Muzaffarabad city and the supply of drinking water had been suspended.

Pakistani TV channels broadcast footage of vehicles, livestock and people being swept away by powerful torrents.

The army says all available troops have been deployed for relief work.

Flood alerts have been issued in many parts of the country, and those living in low-lying areas have been advised to move to higher ground.

Fears remain that many more lives will be lost and more people displaced in the coming hours.

Airline officials said the weather was likely to have contributed to the plane crash in Islamabad on Wednesday in which more than 150 people died.

See more pictures at BBC Urdu



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