Pakistan flash floods: 550 dead amid heaviest rains in decades


Flash floods caused by abnormally heavy monsoon rains killed at least 549 people in Pakistan over the past month, with isolated communities in the impoverished southwestern province of Balochistan among the hardest hit, a government agency said.

Government agencies and the military have set up aid and relief camps in flood-affected areas and are working to help relocate families and provide food and medicine.

Besides the deaths, the floods damaged more than 46,200 homes, the National Disaster Management Authority said on Friday.

“We are doing our best to provide large-scale relief and rehabilitation to flood victims,” ​​Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said during a visit to the affected areas.

But the Balochistan provincial government said it needed more funds and appealed to international organizations for help.

“Our losses are huge,” said the province’s chief minister, Abdul Qudoos Bezenjo.

There were food shortages in all flood-affected districts, with some also disconnected from the rest of the province due to more than 700 kilometers of washed out roads.

Bezenjo said his province needed “huge help” from the government and international aid agencies.

Last month was the wettest in three decades, with 133% more rain than the 30-year average, the disaster authority said. Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, received 305% more rain than the annual average, the disaster management agency said.