26 killed, infrastructure destroyed as pre-monsoon rain spell wreak havoc in Pakistan
Published: Jun 22, 2022 10:33 AM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

A recent spell of heavy pre-monsoon rains has wreaked havoc in parts of Pakistan, leaving at least 26 people killed and several injured as well as damaging infrastructure and standing crops, government officials said on Tuesday.

The country's eastern Punjab province was the worst-hit region with 16 deaths, followed by southwest Balochistan and northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, which reported five deaths each over the last five days, a senior official from the National Disaster Management Authority told Xinhua.

The official said women and children were among the victims, adding that heavy monsoon rain-triggered flash floods also damaged dozens of houses, buildings, schools, roads and bridges.

Meanwhile, local administrations are busy carrying out rescue and relief services in affected areas and struggling to cope with the current emergency.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the current spell of pre-monsoon rains is expected to continue till Wednesday, saying heavy falls and windstorms may trigger land sliding, flash flooding and damage to loose structures in vulnerable areas of the country.

The weather department also warned passengers and tourists, urging them to remain alert and avoid unnecessary traveling during the forecasted period.

Pakistan's Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said that the country will experience monsoon rains until at least August this year with intervals, during which the rainfall is expected to be above normal in various parts of Pakistan.

"Pakistan may have to face a flood-like situation similar to the one in 2010," the minister said on Monday.

Urging citizens and relevant authorities to exercise vigilance and preparedness for the upcoming monsoon and brace for low to high-intensity floods, she said that all-out precautionary measures must be taken to cope with the possible disastrous impacts of the expected monsoon rains.

Though the sharp dropping of temperature owing to wet showers brought much-awaited relief for the people facing scorching weather, citizens are also complaining about the miseries and weighty disruption rains have caused.

Azra Begum, a factory worker in the eastern Rawalpindi district, told Xinhua that she and her family could not make it to their workplace on time as continuous rains affected the transportation system in the community.

"Our streets and homes are flooded with the sewage water. We are also facing load shedding... halting our daily life while forcing us to stay indoors," she said.