Rains, floods kill 50 people, 70 missing in Pakistan

20:08, July 23, 2010      

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Children have fun in the waterlogged street in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on July 22, 2010. (Xinhua/Saeed Ahmad)

As many as 50 people were killed overnight on Friday in southwest Pakistan's Balochistan province while another 70 were missing in different parts of the country, according to local media.

Some 600 troops and military choppers are participating in the relief and rescue operations in the worst hit Balochistan where the northeast Barkhan area had been hit by six hours of continuous downpour on Thursday. The resultant floods washed away dozens of villages and several dozens of people and cattle.

At least 20,000 people have been affected by the rains and floods, said Major General Saleem Nawaz, Inspector General of paramilitary Frontier Corps.

Heavy rains and floods also washed away ripe harvests, local TV channels reported.

The provincial capital city of Quetta has also been disconnected from the rest of the country as railway traffic was suspended due to damaged tracks in some areas.

Local media reported that train tracks have been washed away in flood affected Sibi area while Jacobabad in southern Sindh province and some southern areas of the eastern province also reported damage to train tracks. It further added to the misery of domestic travelers as at least six different train services have been suspended due to losses to Pakistan Railways.

Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. General Nadeem Ahmed told media that at least 13 villages have been destroyed in Barkhan and Kohlu areas in Balochistan. Rain and flood water also entered homes in low lying areas whereas the traffic system has been paralyzed due to accumulation of water on roads in most parts of the province, he added.

Following the rain havoc in Barkhan, Rojhan area in Dera Ghazi Khan of Punjab Province has also been declared calamity hit area as 40 villages have been inundated by floods.

A canal breach has washed away ripe crops in Faisalabad in Punjab whereas heavy rains have also severely affected the eastern city of Lahore. Rain water has made its way into homes in low lying areas while flooded streets have disrupted the traffic system and normal life.

The meteorological office has predicted starting of monsoon rains from July 27. The current situation has raised several questions about the post rain management situation, which seems to be seriously challenged even before the start of proper monsoon season, local watchers observed.

Source: Xinhua


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