Rivers burst, floods kill at least 60 in Pakistan
hundreds of thousands stranded in northwest
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Rivers burst their banks during deadly monsoon rains lashing Pakistan, washing away streets, battering a dam and submerging thousands of homes, officials said Thursday.
The hardest hit region was the northwest, where at least 60 people died and hundreds of thousands were stranded in the region’s worst flooding in decades.
Two elderly men clung to a fence post and each other as a raging torrent swept over their heads in the northwest Peshawar area, footage on Pakistan’s Dunya TV showed. It was unclear whether they survived.
People were forced to trudge through knee-deep water in some streets in the Swat Valley. A newly constructed part of a dam in the Charsadda district collapsed, and the U.N. said it had reports that 5,000 homes were under water in that area.
At least 10 of 60 people reported dead in the previous 24 hours died near Peshawar when their homes crumbled.
Dozens of people were reported missing, including at least nine Chinese construction workers in the Kohistan area. About 200 other Chinese workers were trapped amid the downpour, said Mian If- A Pakistani villager with his daughter moves to a safe place from a flood-hit village near Nowshera, Pakistan, on Thursday. tikhar Hussain, the information minister for Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, the northwest province.
He said it was the worst floods in the region since 1929 and estimated 400,000 people were stranded in various 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, noting that weather forecasts predict more rain during the next 24 hours.
Monsoon season often leads to widespread flooding in Pakistan, imperiling residents in low-lying villages. The poorest residents are often the ones who live in the most flood-prone areas because they can’t afford safer land.
Southwest Baluchistan province also has been hit hard by the recent rains. Last week, flash floods in that region killed at least 41 people and swept away thousands of homes. A U.N. statement Thursday said 150,000 people had been affected there.