- Eight children among weather-related fatalities.
- 87 people suffered injuries during the extreme rains.
- PDMA says working to relocate hundreds of affected people.
LAHORE: As torrential monsoon rains grip Pakistan, at least 50 people — including eight children — have died in various rain-related incidents, officials said Friday.
Every year, between June and September, monsoon winds bring rains to South Asia, accounting for 70% to 80% of the region’s annual rainfall.
These monsoon rains are a mixed blessing for the region.
On the one hand, they are crucial to the livelihoods of millions of farmers and food security in a region of around two billion people. On the other hand, they bring landslides and floods.
“Fifty deaths have been reported in different rain-related incidents all over Pakistan since the start of the monsoon on June 25,” a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official told AFP, adding that 87 people were injured during this period.
The majority of the deaths were in eastern Punjab, and were mainly due to electrocution and building collapses, official data showed.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the bodies of eight children were recovered from a landslide in the Shangla district on Thursday, according to the emergency service Rescue 1122’s spokesman Bilal Ahmed Faizi.
He said rescuers were still searching for other children trapped in the debris.
Officials in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, said it had received record-breaking rainfall on Wednesday, turning roads into rivers and leaving almost 35% without electricity and water this week.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted more heavy rainfall nationwide in the days ahead and warned of potential flooding in the catchment areas of Punjab’s major rivers.
The province’s disaster management authority said Friday it is working to relocate people living along the waterways.
Scientists have said climate change is making seasonal rains heavier and more unpredictable.
Last summer, unprecedented monsoon rains put a third of Pakistan under water, damaging two million homes and killing more than 1,700 people.
Storms killed at least 27 people, including eight children, in the country’s northwest early last month.
According to officials, Pakistan has the world’s fifth-largest population and is responsible for less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
However, it is one of the most vulnerable nations to the extreme weather caused by global warming.