Dozens killed, many missing in floods, landslides in Asia

Flash floods and landslides kill at least 180 people in China, 43 in Pakistan and 41 in India. Hundreds of thousands of others remain stranded waiting for aid.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Rescuers row as they save residents with a boat at a flooded area in Zhijin, Guizhou Province, China.

Dozens of people were killed as severe storms, heavy downpours and landslides wreaked havoc in large parts of China, Pakistan and India.

Torrential rains swept Anqing in east China's Anhui province. In Sanqiao Town, Huaining County, around 100 residents were trapped after heavy rains triggered floods across the region. Chinese authorities have confirmed that thousands of homes have been destroyed by the floods.

Areas along the Yangtze River are bracing for more flooding. At least 27 people were killed and 12 went missing in torrential rains since Thursday in Hubei, central China. A landslide claimed 23 more lives when it buried a village in Guizhou province in southwest China.

A man pushes a tub carrying children as he gets them back home after school at a flooded area in Duchang, Jiangxi Province, China.

The authorities said that over 180 people have killed in flood-related incidents. Nearly 400,000 people have been evacuated in Guizhou province.

Almost 15,000 houses have collapsed and more than 500,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed, causing direct economic losses of 5.669 billion yuan ($850 million).

State television showed people using boats to navigate flooded streets in the eastern Anhui province. Anhui's civil affairs department said that at least 18 people have died and four are missing due to heavy rains since June 18.

People crossing a flooded street in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province.

43 killed in Pakistan floods

At least 43 people were killed in overnight flash floods in northern Pakistan. The majority of the casualties occurred in a remote village that did not receive an evacuation warning before the flood hit, washing away most of the settlement.

The heavy monsoon rains began late on Saturday and were concentrated mainly in the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has been badly affected by floods in recent years.

Pakistani army personnel help villagers after their house was destroyed by flash flooding in Ursoon village in Chitral on July 3, 2016.

The worst hit district was Chitral, on the country's northwest border with Afghanistan, where floods killed 41 people in the village of Ursoon near the Afghan border. Eighty-two homes in the village were affected by the waters. Flood waters also swept away a mosque and an army post in the area.

"Sixteen of the dead were offering prayers in the mosque when it was swept away by the flood," Latifur Rehman, a spokesman for the provincial disaster management authority, told AFP.

At least eight of the victims were soldiers, and another eight bodies were swept over the border into Afghanistan, senior local official Osama Waraich said.

Rehman said that a military-led rescue and relief operation was now underway. Helicopters were being used to reach the affected people and provide them with tents, food and medical aid.

Pakistani residents affected by flooding gather on higher ground alongside floodwaters in the village of Nagar in Chitral on July 3, 2016.

Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, the charitable wing of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, were among the first at the scene providing relief.

Separately, two Chinese engineers were killed and five Pakistani workers injured when the heavy rains caused the roof of a construction site to collapse at Tarbela Dam, also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Rehman said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's office issued a statement expressing his grief and sorrow.

Heavy rains and flash flood claim many victims each year, with poorly built homes across the country, particularly in rural areas, susceptible to collapse during the annual spring and monsoon rains in July-August

In April, rains and landslides killed 127 people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Gilgit-Baltistan region and Azad Kashmir region.

During the rainy season last summer, torrential downpours and flooding killed 81 people and affected almost 300,000 across the country.

The worst flooding in recent times occurred in 2010 and covered almost a fifth of the country's total land mass. Nearly 2,000 people were killed, 20 million affected and huge tracts of prime farmland destroyed.

41 killed in northern Indian floods

At least 41 people were killed following a downpour that triggered flash floods landslides in northern Indian Uttarakhand state over the weekend, a state official said.

Indian State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel examine a damaged building after flood devastated dwellings in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Several people were still missing, Om Prakash Sati, a spokesman at the state chief minister's office, said. He said that remote Chamoli and Pithoragarh were the worst affected districts in the state.

The state has so far confirmed 18 deaths, of whom 15 were from Pithoragarh.

Thousands were feared stranded as landslides blocked hundreds of roads. The state authorities have asked people in low lying areas to evacuate as a precautionary measure, he said.

Indian villagers walk across debris of rocks and fallen trees after floodwaters receded from the village of Jakhane, in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

“Relief operations are under way, but incessant rains have hampered efforts and raised fears of flooding as rivers were close to their danger levels,” Sati said.

"There is no need to panic," Uttarakhand's chief minister Harish Rawat said. “More teams from the state, central authorities, and other relief forces have all been kept on high alert as a precautionary measure.”

Several damaged roads have also been repaired, Rawat said.

TRTWorld and agencies