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Pakistan: 87 killed over past week as heavy rains wreak havoc in country, over 80 injured

The highest number of deaths (56) were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while 25 deaths were reported in the Punjab province. Meanwhile, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said rains across Pakistan are likely to continue till April 22.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Islamabad Published on: April 20, 2024 10:15 IST
Pakistan rains, people killed
Image Source : AP Pakistan is reeling under unusually heavy rains.

Islamabad: As many as 87 people have been killed in separate incidents in Pakistan as the rain mayhem continues in the country over the past week, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The NDMA on Friday reported that rains have partially or fully damaged 2,715 houses across the country, with most people dying due to structural collapse.

Most of the damages and casualties were reported in the restive northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where 36 people were killed and 53 others were injured due to torrential rains. At least 25 deaths were reported in the Punjab province along with eight injuries, according to the NDMA.

A total of 15 people were killed and 10 others injured in the southwestern Balochistan province, whereas 11 people died with 11 others were injured due to heavy rains in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during the period, the authority further said. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief and sorrow over the deaths and damage to property due to the heavy rains.

He has advised the concerned departments to speed up relief activities in the affected areas and expedite work for opening roads that have been closed due to rains and landsliding. Meanwhile, the NDMA has predicted that rains across Pakistan will continue till April 22, and rains, landslides and flash floods may occur during the second spell from April 25 to 29.

Pakistan's rains due to climate change: Met Dept

Pakistan is seeing heavier rain in April due to climate change, earlier said Zaheer Ahmed Babar, a senior official at the Pakistan Meteorological Department. "So far there has been 256% above normal rainfall in Baluchistan," Babar told The Associated Press. “Overall, there has been 61 per cent above normal rainfall this month across Pakistan, and it shows climate change has already happened in our country."

Pakistan's water reservoirs would improve because of the rains, he said. Rafay Alam, a Pakistani environmental expert, said such heavy April rainfall is unusual. "Two years ago, Pakistan witnessed a heat wave in March and April and now we are witnessing rains and it is all because of climate change, which had caused heavy flooding in 2022," he said.

In 2022, downpours swelled rivers and at one point flooded a third of Pakistan, killing 1,739 people. The floods also caused $30 billion in damages, from which Pakistan is still trying to rebuild.

Similar conditions in Afghanistan

The neighbouring nation of Afghanistan is also witnessing a similar rain-related situation this month. Heavy rain and floods in 23 Afghan provinces killed around 70 people and wounded over 50 others, according to media reports. A large number of agricultural lands have been destroyed, and along with that, in some districts, livestock have also perished, TOLO News quoted Nangyali Samoon, spokesperson for the Kandahar Department of Agriculture.

The flooding also damaged large areas of agricultural land and more than 85 km (53 miles) of roads, said Abdullah Janan Saiq, the Taliban's spokesman for the State Ministry for Natural Disaster Management. He said authorities in Afghanistan had provided aid to nearly 23,000 families, and that flash floods were reported in 20 of the country's 34 provinces.

(with inputs from agencies)

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