Central & South Asia

Scores killed in Afghanistan-Pakistan floods

Monsoon rain and floods have left more than 138 people dead and thousands more homeless.

Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 19:46
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Authorities in Karachi said it would take more than two days to clear flooded markets and roads [Reuters]

Monsoon rain and floods across Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed more than 130 people and affected tens of thousands of others, with predictions of more rain to come.

At least 80 people have been killed in Afghanistan, and villagers in remote areas were stranded without shelter or food.

Unexpected rains are global climatic change phenomena, but we can prepare and plan ahead to mitigate the disaster.

Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem, Pakistan

In Sarobi, a rural district less than an hour from the capital, Kabul, 61 people were killed and about 500 traditional mud-brick homes washed away in more than a dozen villages, officials said on Monday.

Elsewhere in the eastern provinces, at least 24 people were killed, more than 100 homes and shops destroyed and thousands of acres of farmland flooded.

Meanwhile, at least 58 people have died in Pakistan, according to emergency workers.

Brigadier Mirza Kamran Zia, the operations chief of the National Disaster Management Authority, said floods were receding and people were returning to their homes, but warned that more rain than usual was expected this month and next.

Torrents expected

The authority's director, Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem, said the recurring flooding was the result of global climate change.

"Unexpected rains are global climatic change phenomena, but we can prepare and plan ahead to mitigate the disaster," Aleem said.

"We are worried about central Pakistan this year, where more rain and flooding from hill torrents is expected."

Flash floods following monsoon rain paralysed parts of the largest city, Karachi, at the weekend.

Authorities in the city of 18 million people, which contributes 42 percent of Pakistan's GDP, said it would take more than two days to clean up after the water flooded markets, buildings and houses and blocked roads.

Hundreds of cars were half-submerged after poor sewerage and drainage systems became blocked due to garbage.

Pakistan has suffered devastating monsoon floods for the last three years, including the worst in its history in 2010 when catastrophic inundations killed almost 1,800 people and affected 21 million.


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