Floods, rain kill 260 in Pakistan, one million affected

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 260 people have been killed and more than one m (TIP)illion affected due to rain and devastating floods in Pakistan with authorities racing against both time and tide to limit destruction, officials said on Sept 10. The rain lashed vast areas of the country last week and has now stopped but the floods triggered by the heavy showers are still out of control. Reema Zubari of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said 1,091,807 people have been affected by the floods in Punjab alone.

Another million people would be affected in Sindh province as the flood water has drained down to empty into the Arabian Sea, minister for water and power Khawaja Asif said. NDMA has warned that high to very high level flood would hit Sindh in the south of the country on September 13. Currently, southern part of Punjab has flooded due to water which has entered the region after wreaking havoc in northeastern and central parts of the province.

The deluge has destroyed crop in over 700,000 acres of land in Punjab. So far, 257 people have been killed across Pakistan in floods and rain-related incidents. Zubari said 179 people have been killed in Punjab province, 64 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and 14 in Gilgit-Baltistan. More than 6,000 houses have been damaged in Punjab. Chenab river is in high flood and raging down from central to south Punjab, leaving a trail of devastation. Today the authorities breached a major embankment along the river to save Jhang city and the Trimmu headwork on the Chenab. Efforts were also on to protect Multan city and already decisions have been made to cause artificial breaches at certain points to disperse water.

More villages could be inundated in addition to over 2,000 villages already affected by floods. Poor planning and lack of water management is visible in most places with officials struggling to limit the damage caused due to the floods.

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