Rain, floods kills 78 in Pakistan: Officials

Published: September 10, 2012

Heavy monsoon rains which began falling last week have destroyed more than 1,600 houses. PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: At least 78 people have died and dozens more injured in torrential rains and flash floods that have wreaked havoc in Pakistan over the past three days, a government spokesman said Monday.

Heavy monsoon rains which began falling last week have destroyed more than 1,600 houses and damaged a further 5,000, Irshad Bhatti, a spokesman for the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) told AFP.

“A total of 78 people have died and 68 injured in rains and flash floods in the country so far,” he said, adding that the casualties were caused mostly by houses collapsing and people being caught in floods.

The worst-hit region was Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where 32 people have died and 26 injured in several districts, he said, adding that 83 houses were totally destroyed and another 4,200 were partially damaged.

In the northwestern district of Swabi eight Afghan refugees were killed when the roof of their mud house collapsed overnight, police official Mohammad Ali said.

The dead, who were members of the same family, included two women and six children aged between one and 12 years he said.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, flash floods killed at least 31 people, Bhatti said, just a month after heavy rains led to the deaths of at least 26 people in the same region.

At least four people were killed in central Punjab province where more than 200 houses were damaged, officials said.

Details were not given for where the other deaths occurred but the toll was expected to rise considerably with unconfirmed reports of more than 30 killed in Sindh province.

“The provincial government has declared an emergency in Jacobabad, Khairpur, Kashmore districts which have been badly affected by the rains,” Haleem Shaikh, advisor to the Sindh government said.

“Hundreds of people have been displaced so far, we fear for many more people going homeless as the rains are still incessant in those districts.”

Expressing “deep concern” over the havoc caused across the country by the recent rains, President Asif Ali Zardari has directed national and provincial disaster management authorities to gear up their efforts in providing relief to the affected people.

Weather officials predict heavy rain in the next two days in southern Sindh and Balochistan provinces and rescue teams are closely monitoring the situation, Bhatti said.

“It is not comparable to what we saw last year. We hope the current spell will end over the next two days and water will start receding in affected areas,” he said.

Last summer’s floods killed more than 340 people and affected almost six million, killing livestock, destroying crops, homes and infrastructure as the nation struggled to recover from record inundations the previous year.

In 2010, unprecedented monsoon rainfall triggered catastrophic flooding across the country, killing almost 1800 people and affecting 21 million.

Emergency declared in Dera Ghazi Khan

A state of emergency has also been declared in the Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts of the Punjab province, where army troops have been called to join rescue work, local administration officials said.

Senior Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa said that the flood-affected areas of Dera Ghazi Khan will be declared as calamity-hit, and recommendations after assessment of damages will be sent to the Punjab government.

He said that according to the policy of Punjab government, Rs500,000 each will be given to the families of those killed in floods. Pakistan Army Engineering Corps has been summoned for plugging the breaches in DG canal and the dangerous breaches will be filled in a few hours, he added.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Khan of Cape Town
    Sep 10, 2012 - 1:37PM

    Every year, thousands upon thousands die in floods in Pakistan, but it is not ready to build dams and reservoirs due to utter non sense.

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  • Sir King Kong Bunty
    Sep 10, 2012 - 2:13PM

    No these are not rainfalls. India has recently released waters from the Kishengagnga project,

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  • Anoni
    Sep 10, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Please build some DAMS that serve the purpose to holding back the floods.

    For politician if you can learn from history our ancestor made DAM. Unless the policy maker are without any common sense

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  • Raw is War
    Sep 10, 2012 - 2:20PM

    that sinking feelin again.Recommend

  • Qaisrani
    Sep 10, 2012 - 4:28PM

    That’s why Saraikistan is necessary.All funds are being used to develop Lahore and GT Road cities.Every year,rain unleaches havoc in saraikistan but there are no dams.Viceroy of Saraikistan Mr Shehbaz Shareef must be busy inspecting Lahore rapid bus project as those people are his own.

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  • abc
    Sep 10, 2012 - 5:02PM

    The supreme court must take notice of the measures which could have been taken to avoid these losses. Every year we have the same scenario and nobody cares. There must be an independent body to investigate and form a strategy to deal with it. One must understand that if we make it an excuse to get world financial help over this than they are at the wrong side of the truth.

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  • roger
    Sep 10, 2012 - 5:13PM

    @Qaisrani: and thanks to the corrupt govt it will take another 10 years to build that…..and another 10 to make it open for public….

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