Monsoon floods kill 118 in Pakistan, thousands evacuated
Pakistani villagers wade through floodwaters caused by heavy rains at a village on the outskirts of Nowshera near Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015. (AP/Muhammad Sajjad)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, August 3, 2015 10:59AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 3, 2015 11:54AM EDT
ISLAMABAD -- The death toll from flash floods triggered by seasonal monsoon rains in various parts of Pakistan has risen to 118 and floodwater has inundated vast areas, leaving tens of thousands homeless, authorities said Monday.
The National Disaster Management Authority said the flooding has affected more than 800,000 people in 2,275 villages. About 2,900 houses have collapsed or are partially damaged.
The northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is the worst affected, with 59 deaths reported there, according to NDMA's statement. The Pakistani part of Kashmir and southern part of eastern Punjab province each reported 22 deaths.
In mid-July, monsoon rains followed by flash floods badly hit the northwestern city of Chitral, where flooding destroyed several bridges, homes, mosques, hotels and a power station. Pakistan army's engineers repaired damaged bridges in Chitral, while boats and helicopters evacuated those affected.
Heavy monsoon rains and flooding also affected the scenic Gilgit Baltistan region where five deaths were reported in affected 175 villages and over 600 houses completely or partly damaged. A total of 136,000 people were affected there.
The southern part of largest Punjab province is another region badly hit by the flooding. The NDMA and Pakistani military moved tens of thousands of people from there to safety and provided relief goods. The operation was continuing in southern Punjab.
An army statement said army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif visited Layyah district, where rescue and flood relief operations are ongoing. It said he expressed deepest regret over the devastation, loss of life and property.
The rain continued Monday but weather conditions are expected to improve in coming days.
Every year, floods triggered by monsoon rains kill scores of people in Pakistan.