Pakistan floods: 135 killed and hundreds homeless as record monsoon rains wreak havoc

·2-min read

As many as 135 people were killed, tens of thousands stranded in remote regions, and roads in several cities were inundated as record rains pounded Pakistan, marring Eid al-Adha festivities.

Around 154 people were injured in rain-related incidents across Pakistan, according to the 9 July update by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

At least 57 people, including women and children, were killed in the southern province of Balochistan, one of the country’s poorest provinces.

Thousands more people were left homeless, stranded or missing after their homes collapsed after torrential rain continued to lash the region for more than a week – the worst the country has seen in three decades.

Huge loss of property and cattle, including damage to five dams and almost 500 houses, was estimated in the province.

At least 10 dams were breached in several districts of the province, forcing the authorities to issue a warning to people to evacuate their houses and move away.

Images from the more developed cities of Rawalpindi, in Punjab, and the capital city of Islamabad showed people wading along flooded roads.

Flooded roads in Karachi after rainfall (AP)
Flooded roads in Karachi after rainfall (AP)

People suffered prolonged traffic jams and power outages while commercial activities which were expected to bring relief to pandemic-hit businesses during Eid were impacted by the flash floods.

Footage screened by private broadcasters showed people washing in flooded settlements and others appearing to escape from chest-deep water in their homes.

Sherry Rehman, the country’s minister for climate change, said Sindh and Balochistan provinces had already seen recording-breaking rain in July.

Calling it a national tragedy, she added: “The water levels are high and people need to be careful because the monsoon patterns are changing. At this moment, the rains across Pakistan are 87 per cent more than the average downpour.”

Children carrying household items wade through a flooded area after a monsoon rainfall in Quetta (AFP via Getty Images)
Children carrying household items wade through a flooded area after a monsoon rainfall in Quetta (AFP via Getty Images)

At least 24 people have died in Pakistan’s Sindh province while 21 have perished in Punjab, according to government data.

In northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 18 people have died. Two people, including a six-year-old child, died and four were injured when their house collapsed due to rain, according to a district official statement.

Camels are pictured at a cattle market after a rain shower ahead of the upcoming Muslim festival (AFP via Getty Images)
Camels are pictured at a cattle market after a rain shower ahead of the upcoming Muslim festival (AFP via Getty Images)

The South Asian nation grapples with crippling monsoon rain every year, drawing criticism for poor government planning and infrastructure. The monsoon season, which runs from July to September, has worsened over the years in the continent due to climate change.

The 2010 floods are the worst in recent memory after the deluge affected 20 million people and damaged infrastructure worth billions of dollars in vast swathes of the country. Almost one-fifth of Pakistan suffered due to the flooding.

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