Pakistan braces for more flooding as heavy rains continue

16:17, July 27, 2010      

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Pakistan braces for more flooding as widespread monsoon rains hit most parts of the country on Tuesday and forecasters predicted torrential rains in the coming two days.

Two top officials of the meteorological department said that heavy downpour will continue across Pakistan and its part of Kashmir.

Chief of Pakistan's Meteorological Department, Dr. Qamar-uz- Zaman Chaudhry, said that strong monsoon currents have penetrated in southern parts of Pakistan, including the port city of Karachi. This low pressure air has also approached central Punjab province and the capital of Islamabad

The met office said that scattered thunderstorm is expected in Punjab including Islamabad and the northwest province of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa during next 24-36 hours. It is also expected at isolated places of eastern parts of southwestern Balochistan during next 14 hours.

Karachi, the country's commercial center, received 39 mm rain overnight, which inundated several main roads. TV footage showed several feet water on the city's main roads, causing suspension of traffic. People complained about the faulty sewerage system. Electricity and phone system were also disrupted in parts of the affected areas, residents said.

With the onset of a heavier than usual monsoon season, assistance to tens of thousands of people was affected by torrential rains and flash floods in different areas of the country and the risk of disease outbreaks is growing, local authorities said.

The monsoon season usually lasts until September.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its July 23 humanitarian update that the worst affected areas have been the northeastern province of Punjab and southwestern province of Balochistan.
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