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Floods bring more disaster; 46 dead

05 August, 2013

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KARACHI: Disaster relief officials issued fresh flood warnings on Sunday after the death toll from heavy monsoon rains rose to 46 and waters paralysed several cities and towns across the country.

Flooding nullahs washed away hundreds of houses in several areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.

The gushing water also destroyed crops on thousands of acres of land. The National Disaster Management Authority warned that more thunderstorms and heavy rains were expected today (Monday) and some rivers may flood.

At least 46 people have been killed in the floods over the weekend. Officials in Karachi said at least 20 had died in the city to add to 20 dead in the northwest and six in Balochistan.

Doctor Semi Jamali at the Jinnah Hospital in Karachi told AFP that most of the deaths occurred due to electrocution or collapsing roofs and walls. Authorities in the city of 18 million people, which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan's GDP, said it would take more than two days to clear up after the water flooded markets, buildings and houses and blocked roads. Hundreds of cars were seen half-submerged after poor sewerage and drainage systems choked due to garbage.

The rain also caused dozens of power feeders of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to trip, which resulted in power outages in almost half of the city.

Although the posh and residential neighbourhoods were no exception, the worst-hit were the slums and villages on the edge of the city.

The areas which braved worst power outages include North Karachi, North Nazimabad, Abul Hassan Isphani Road, Gulistan-e-Johar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Surjani Town, Baldia, Nusrat Bhutto Colony, Lyari and Landhi.

Army engineers helped relief efforts in Karachi where roads and streets were flooded and the city was practically paralysed.

Pakistan Navy personnel were also called in who took part in rescue operation after rainwater entered houses in different parts of the city, leaving a large number of people stranded.

People in Saadi Town, Amoroha Society, Safoora Goth, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Bhittaiabad, Gulistan-e-Johar and those leaving near Lyari and Malir rivers were stranded as rainwater from Saturday's downpour entered their houses. People in various rain-hit localities also had to move to safer places. Rains also flooded a vast area of Balochistan.

In Sibi, a high-level flood was passing through River Narhi while an emergency cell has been established at the office of commissioner. Low-lying areas of Jhal Magsi were also submerged.

Authorities also ordered evacuation in the historical city of Gandawah and people were asked to move to safer areas. A flood was also expected to hit Saifabad, Kot Magsi, Misri Goth and adjoining areas. Khuzdar-Shahdadkot road, the main artery linking central Balochistan and upper Sindh, was closed after a land sliding in Wangu region.

The Met Office said the prevailing monsoon system wan heading Sindh from Balochistan and torrential rains are expected in Gwadar, Jiwani, Turbat and adjoining areas.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, rain wreaked havoc in Peshawar, Chitral, Charsadda and Nowshera. Many areas remained cut-off after road links and suspension bridges were washed away in the province. Downpour also lashed Lahore and its adjoining areas overnight, turning the weather pleasant. However, several low-lying localities in the city were flooded and roads were submerged causing inconvenience to citizens.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent three of his cabinet ministers to inspect damage in flood-hit areas. Rana Tanveer, Khuram Dastageer and Qadir Baloch were directed to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan, respectively. The country has suffered devastating monsoon floods for the last three years, including the worst in its history in 2010 when catastrophic inundations killed almost 1,800 people and affected 21 million.


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