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Rains, floods kill 81 in Pakistan: disaster agency

29 july 2015, 11:50

Torrential rains and flooding have killed 81 people in Pakistan over the past two weeks and affected almost 300,000, the disaster management agency said Tuesday, warning of more bad weather to come, AFP reports.

Severe rains which began in mid-July have caused havoc in both the north and south of the country, damaging more than 1,900 houses and injuring dozens of people, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

At least 38 people were killed in worst-hit northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 19 in Pakistan-run Kashmir, Ahmed Kamal told AFP. Eleven people also died in central Punjab province, eight in Southwestern Baluchistan and five in Gilgit Baltistan.

"Fairly widespread thunderstorms, rains with heavy falls (in) scattered places and very heavy falls (in) isolated places" are expected in the coming days Kamal said.

So far 172,016 people have been evacuated to safer places, he said, adding that rescue teams from the military, provincial governments and NDMA were carrying out "relief and rescue operations" in the affected areas.

Torrential rains have also destroyed infrastructure, sweeping away dozens of roads and bridges in the Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while floods have inundated 375 villages in southern Punjab, the MDMA said.

The agency has already issued severe weather warnings for southern Sindh, central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and the Kashmir region.

Every year Pakistan is hit by severe weather patterns, which have killed hundreds and wiped out millions of acres of prime farmland in recent years, harming the heavily agrarian economy.

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