Death toll rises to 250 as rains wreak havoc in South Asia


The death toll in torrential rains followed by flash floods have raised to 250 in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, officials and local media said Thursday.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), a state-run agency that coordinates between different relief and rescue organizations, the death toll from Tuesday and Wednesday raining and flood have been raised to 56.

“56 people lost lives while 176 were injured across Pakistan, most of the deaths have been reported from the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the southwestern Balochistan provinces” the officials said.

Meanwhile, some 117 houses were completely and partially damaged in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwestern Punjab.

The unseasonal rains flanked by gusty winds also downed trees, electricity poles and signboards in several cities apart from causing damage to standing crop of wheat, mainly in Punjab.

Most deaths resulted from roof collapse and electrocution.

The Met Office said that mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, however rain and thunderstorm is also expected in northern and northwestern parts of Pakistan including Kashmir on Thursday.

– Death toll in India raises to 60

In neighboring India, at least 60 people lost their lives due to unseasonal rains and thunderstorm this week.

The highest number of casualties was reported as 25 deaths from the northern Rajasthan state

At least 21 people were killed in the central Madhya Pradesh state, 10 in Gujarat and 4 in Maharashtra in the west, said local officials.

Some 25 people were also reported to be injured in Madhya Pradesh. Crops in many districts were damaged, as well.

Most of the deaths were caused by lightning.

The state as well as central government announced compensation for those killed.

The Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh government pledged Rs 4,00,000 (some $5800) compensation to bereaved families, whereas Gujarat announced Rs 2,00,000 (some $2900).

– 134 killed in Afghanistan

Authorities in Afghanistan extended flash flood warnings on Wednesday to 22 out of a total of 34 provinces in the country amid forecast of more rains.

The country’s National Disaster Management Authority announced emergency teams have been formed to monitor and clean vulnerable areas including the informal settlements around the Kabul River on the outskirts of the capital Kabul.

After a spell of drought-like situation for months, Afghanistan received bucking rain in the past couple of weeks resulting in flash floods in Herat, Helmand, Badghes, Badakhshan, Ghor, Kunduz, Logar, Diakundi and a number of other provinces.

The local Azadi Radio reported on Wednesday at least 134 people got killed and thousands of homes destroyed by rain and flood in the past three weeks.

* Shadi Khan Saif contributed to the report from Kabul, Afghanistan

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