Rain-related deaths rise to 133: NDMA

ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Monday that the death toll from torrential monsoon rains has reached 133 since June 25.

In a statement, the NDMA said that among the deceased, there were 55 children and 21 women. It said that Punjab has been hit the hardest, witnessing the highest number of deaths, with 65 fatalities reported.

Most of the deaths were reported in Punjab which were mainly caused by electrocution and building collapses.

Rain-related incidents have also claimed 35 lives in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 in Islamabad, 10 in Sindh, six in Balochistan and five in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Since June 25, 215 people have been injured in rain-related incidents, according to areport released by the NDMA.

Apart from the loss of life, the heavy rains have caused significant damage to properties. As per the NDMA, 368 houses have been damaged across the country, and 245 cattle have also perished.

The summer monsoon between June and September brings 70-80% of south Asia’s annual rainfall every year. It is vital for the livelihoods of millions of farmers and food security in a region of about 2 billion people – but it also triggers landslides and floods.

In Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, it received record-breaking rainfall on Wednesday, turning roads into rivers and leaving almost 35% of residents without electricity and water.

Since Wednesday, 19 people have died in the city due to collapsing roofs and electrocution.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the bodies of eight children were recovered from a landslide in the Shangla district two weeks back.

They were playing cricket near a sand rock when it collapsed after a spell of rain buried them. Local rescue teams, later joined by the Pakistani army, pulled out eight bodies after hours of effort.

One of the children was critically injured while the rest were unharmed.

The Meteorological Department has predicted more heavy rainfall nationwide in the days ahead and warned of potential flooding in the catchment areas of Punjab’s biggest rivers.

The province’s disaster management authority said on Friday it was working to relocate people living along the waterways.

Read more: Rain disaster leaves nine dead in KP

Scientists have said the climate crisis is making seasonal rains heavier and more unpredictable.

Last summer, unprecedented monsoon rains hit a third of Pakistan, damaging two million homes and killing more than 1,700 people.

Pakistan, which has the world’s fifth largest population, is responsible for less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however, it is one of the most vulnerable countries to the extreme weather caused by global heating.

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