Pakistan flooding death toll nears 1000

·2-min read

Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains across much of Pakistan have killed nearly 1000 people and injured and displaced thousands more since mid-June.

The new death toll came a day after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif asked for international help in battling deadly flood damage in the impoverished Islamic nation.

The monsoon season, which began in June, has lashed Pakistan with particularly heavy rains this year and rescuers have struggled to evacuate thousands of marooned people from flood-hit areas.

The crisis has forced the government to declare a state of emergency.

In northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, flooding destroyed the gates of a major water control system at the Swat River, leading to flooding in the districts of Charsadda and Nowshera.

Soldiers and rescue organisations were helping people to reach safety in many districts of southern Sindh, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eastern Punjab and southwestern Baluchistan provinces.

In response to appeal for international aid, the United Nations planned a $US160 million ($A232 million) flash appeal for donations, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar. He said in his weekly briefing on Friday that the appeal will be launched on August 30.

The picturesque Kalam Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is one of the areas most affected by the rains and flooding. Waters from overflowing rivers swept away entire buildings, including an iconic hotel.

Thousands of people whose homes were swept away are living in tents, kilometres away from their inundated villages and towns, after being rescued by soldiers, local disaster workers and volunteers, authorities said.

In Baluchistan, all 34 districts of the impoverish province were badly affected due to the heavy rains and subsequent flooding. Road networks were destroyed and bridges washed away and relief is possible only with helicopters, which are not often able to operate because of bad weather.

Provincial officials have confirmed 235 deaths but the number was expected to increase significantly after communications are restored.

The National Disaster Management Authority in its latest overnight report said 45 people were killed in flood-related incidents from Friday to Saturday. That brought the death toll since mid-June to 982 with 1456 injured.

Monsoon rains were expected to continue this week, mainly in the south and southwest. The season usually runs from July to mid September in Pakistan.

Heavy rains and subsequent flash floods have damaged bridges, roads network across Pakistan, disrupting the supply of fruit and vegetables to markets and causing a hike in prices.