Torrential monsoon rains and flash floods killed at least 29 people and injured several others in southwestern and northern Pakistan over the past 24 hours, officials and local media said on Wednesday.
Southwestern Balochistan province and northern Gilgit-Baltistan region were the worst hit where massive downpours and flash floods washed away bridges and houses, caused landslides and disconnected many towns and villages from the rest of the country.
At least 20 deaths have been reported from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, and several other districts, including Qila Saifullah, Sibbi, Kohlu, Gawadar, Turbat and Pasni over the last 24 hours in rain-related accidents, according to local broadcaster Dawn News.
The provincial disaster management authorities put the number at 14.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Farah Azim, a spokeswoman for the provincial government, said that some 35 people have lost their lives across the province during the ongoing monsoon and the pre-monsoon spell that struck the region late last month.
A total of 77 people have been killed across Pakistan since June 14, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Sherry Rehman said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday.
At least four women were killed and several others injured after a massive downpour flanked by flash floods and landslides struck the Ghizr district of the Gilgit-Baltistan region, which borders neighboring China, local broadcaster Sach News reported.
Flash floods also washed away nearly 200 houses in different villages of the scenic mountainous valley, the channel reported.
Heavy to moderate rains also lashed the capital Islamabad, commercial capital Karachi, garrison city of Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, and districts of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
At least two deaths each were reported from Rawalpindi, and Gujranwala while a child died in Karachi in different rain-related accidents.
The Meteorological Department has forecast more rains in the next 48 hours.
Monsoon rains have long been wreaking havoc on Pakistan in terms of human casualties, and destruction of already fragile infrastructures. However, climate change has further increased their frequency, ferocity and unpredictability in recent years.
Rehman said the country has received 86% more rains this monsoon season so far compared to the past year./aa