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Pakistan Flash Floods Update: At least 55 Dead, Rain Hampers Rescue Operations


Devastating floods and heavy rains have left the North-eastern Pakistan to battle for survival.  The inclement weather has already claimed 55 lives and all rescue efforts last Monday were reportedly hampered.

Latif ur Rehman, a Pakistani national disaster management official, said that heavy rains pushed back the rescue operations. It was difficult for the team to reach across the mountainous regions of the northeast.

“Bad weather is the main reason, we are yet unable to send helicopters to these areas. We need to get bodies and the injured out from under the rubble and provide food and tents to the survivors,” Rehman said.

Swat Valley, one of the worst-hit districts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa(KPH) province, was reported on the five inches on rain-level as early as Sunday. Around 150 homes were swept away in the swirling waves, reports Reuters. Moreover, landslides caused by heavy rains deteriorated roads and communications infrastructure in the area.

Update: As of this writing, the number of casualties has increased to 55 people and 180 houses were destroyed.

The bridge which linked the villages of Toormang and Shalfalam over the Panjkora River also collapsed due to the heavy flooding.

In a report by Dunya News, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reported that most of the deaths were caused by the buildings that collapsed. In the rural areas, buildings are not strong enough to hold the pressure of disastrous weather.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif deeply expressed his sorrow over the destruction, said his office.

“The Prime Minister has directed NDMA (the National Disaster Management Authority) and other concerned authorities to ensure timely relief activities for the victims; including a provision of proper medical care, food, and shelter for the affected,” it said.

In support of those affected, KPH government will offer relief packages across the province. Each casualty of the flood will get $3000, reports CNN.

Those who have completely lost their homes will get $1000 as a compensation and people who still have homes, but partially damaged will receive $500. In addition, injured citizens will also get $500.

The government has also advised people to evacuate all affected areas and move to safer places.

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