Hundreds die as floods sweep Pakistan

Hundreds die as floods sweep Pakistan

The death toll from three days of flooding in Pakistan reached more than 400 today as monsoons swelled rivers, submerged villages and triggered landslides.

The loses underscore the poor infrastructure in Pakistan, where under-equipped rescue workers struggled to reach people stranded in far-flung villages.

The weather forecast was mixed, with some areas expected to see reduced rainfall and others likely to see an intensification.

The north-west was the hardest hit and Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for the region, said it was the deadliest and most destructive flooding there since 1929 when 408 people died.

The road connecting Peshawar to the federal capital, Islamabad, was closed. At least 60 bridges were destroyed.

In Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, at least 22 people were confirmed dead.

The floods cap a deadly week in Pakistan.

On Wednesday, a passenger jet slammed into hills close to Islamabad killing all 152 people on board.

In the Swat Valley, residents were forced to trudge through knee-deep water in some streets.

A newly constructed part of a dam in the Charsadda district collapsed, while the UN said it had reports 5,000 homes were underwater in that area. Mr Hussain estimated 400,000 people were stranded in various Northwest villages.

"A rescue operation using helicopters cannot be conducted due to the bad weather, while there are only 48 rescue boats available for rescue," he said.

Pakistan's poorest residents are often the ones living in flood-prone areas because they cannot afford safer land.

Southwest Baluchistan province has also been hit hard by recent rains. Last week flash floods in that region killed at least 41 people and swept away thousands of homes. The UN statement Thursday said 150,000 people were affected there.

The UN said Punjab province in Pakistan's east was also hit by flooding. Crops were soaked in farmlands throughout the country. The UN said the humanitarian community was trying to put together a proper response, but the rains were making many roads impassable, complicating efforts to assess needs.

More in this Section

Afghan passenger plane crashes in Taliban-held areaAfghan passenger plane crashes in Taliban-held area

Auschwitz burned inside my body and soul, says inmate who was two at liberationAuschwitz burned inside my body and soul, says inmate who was two at liberation

Democrats demand John Bolton gives evidence in Trump impeachment trialDemocrats demand John Bolton gives evidence in Trump impeachment trial

Italy’s regional voters thwart hopes of Matteo Salvini’s League partyItaly’s regional voters thwart hopes of Matteo Salvini’s League party


Lifestyle

In conversation with Hilary Fennell.This Much I Know: Crime Writer, Patricia Gibney

In the middle of awards season, the Grammy Awards is a chance for musicians to hit up the red carpet and wear their biggest and boldest outfits.Pink was the unexpected colour of choice at the Grammy Awards

Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

More From The Irish Examiner