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Thursday, February 9, 2023

357 Dead, Over 400 Injured As Monsoon Rain Continue To Batter Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD, July 29 (IANS): At least 357 people have died and over 400 others injured as heavy monsoon rain have continued to batter Pakistan for more than five weeks, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

Besides human loss, infrastructure, road networks and houses have also been damaged due to the heavy monsoon rains and flash flooding across Pakistan since June 14, official sources from the NDMA told Xinhua news agency on Thursday.

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A total of 23,792 homes have been fully or partially damaged, making thousands of people displaced, according to the NDMA statistics, adding that the heavy downpour have also damaged dozens of bridges and shops.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a tweet on Thursday that Pakistan is facing the challenges of climate change and stressed the need to address the problem of current flash flooding.

“Climate change is an undeniable reality of our times and has serious consequences for developing countries like Pakistan… The government is aligning its development goals with the climate change requirements,” he said.

Balochistan province remained one of the most hard-hit areas, where 106 people died in rain-related incidents and subsequent flooding, followed by 90 fatalities in Sindh.

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There have been 76 fatalities in Punjab province, 70 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while 15 people were killed in other parts of the country, said the NDMA.

Meanwhile, civil administrations in respective cities along with the Pakistani Army are carrying out rescue and relief efforts in affected areas.

The authorities are shifting stranded people to safer places, providing food and water to affected people, whereas doctors and paramedics are in the field to provide medical care.

Taking notice of the huge losses across Pakistan, Sharif has constituted a committee to assess the damage caused by monsoon rains and floods, while announcing to enhance monetary compensation for the affected citizens.

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Predicting more rain this week ongoing week, the Pakistan Meteorological Department said that monsoon currents are continuously penetrating the country and are likely to shift and intensify in upper and central parts of the country.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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