At least 50 people have died in Pakistan after
heavy rains triggered massive floods that have destroyed houses and
crops, officials said on Wednesday, as the South Asian nation
struggles to deal with these deadly effects of global warming.
Most of the deaths were caused by gushing waters flowing down into valleys from mountains and winds bellowing at a very high speed, said Reema Zuberi, spokeswoman for the national disaster agency.
Nearly 150 injured people were being treated at hospital, where authorities had declared an emergency. The north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in the south-west were worse hit, with several towns were inundated, Zuberi added.
Military and rescue agencies were evacuating stranded people in towns and villages of Balochistan, local rescue worker Mohamed Younas said. The wheat crop on hundreds of hectares of land was destroyed in the central province of Punjab, known as the food basket of Pakistan. Hundreds of villagers were being evacuated to safety in the Dera Ghazi Khan region as large swathes of land had been submerged, local police chief Haroon Rashid said.
The government has put the military and rescue agencies on high alert as more rains were predicted, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said. The floods usually hit South Asia in monsoon season, which begins from July and lasts until the end of August. Experts attribute the untimely rains to global warming.
Floods and weather-related incidents kill hundreds of people every year in Pakistan, which faces imminent threat from climate change due to its proximity with highly industrialised China and India.
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