Flash floods kill over 30 in Pakistan



Islamabad: As flash floods and heavy rains killed over 30 people and destroyed property in parts of northern and central Pakistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday directed authorities to take immediate steps to prevent further destruction.

Most of the deaths were reported from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where some 15 people and several heads of livestock were washed away by flash floods.

Two young men drowned in the swollen Korang Nullah in the garrison city of Rawalpindi today, officials said.

The floods also washed away dozens of houses and shops and inundated agricultural land in parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Authorities in Nowshera district declared an emergency following heavy rains. Flash floods also affected Bajaur tribal region.

Officials of the National Disaster Management Authority said the death toll could rise as survey teams were still assessing the damage.

Prime Minister Ashraf directed the Federal Flood Commission, Water and Power Ministry and National Disaster Management Authority to closely monitor the situation across the country.

He directed authorities to reinforce river banks to avert any threat in case of overflows. He further directed all federal and provincial authorities to remain on alert, enhance coordination and exchange information so that a rapid response could be mounted in the event of any emergency.

Ashraf asked officials to monitor rivers and to thoroughly check the early warning system so that it could be used to warn people living near rivers and streams. He directed the NDMA to increase the level of preparedness and review existing stocks of material required for its operations.

PTI