Flash floods triggered by heavy rain in Pakistan have killed at least 55 people and rescuers were trying on Monday to help thousands of survivors including some cut off by a landslide in a mountain valley, officials said.
Rains started overnight Saturday and caused flash flooding in several districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, and the northern Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region on the border with China. Pakistan’s national disaster management authority, Latif ur Rehman, said most of the deaths - mainly due to building collapses – were in these regions.
Also dozens of people were admitted to hospitals with injuries, Rehman said.
According to local media reports Fata, Azad Jammu and Kashmir are also among the affected regions.
Torrential rainfall and flash floods have caused landslides in several parts of KP and Gilgit-Baltistan, blocking roads and cutting remote villages off from main districts.
Residents of scores of villages close to rivers were given warnings to vacate and leave for safer places, Rehman said.
"We're left on our own. Nobody from the government is coming to help us," said Habib Khan, a resident of the northern Swat valley, talking to a local TV news channel.
Gilgit-Baltistan’s chief minister, for his part, has declared a state of emergency, urging citizens to desist from unnecessary travel as hundreds of vehicles remain stuck throughout the region due to landslides.
Pakistan’s official meteorological agency has forecast more rainfall in both regions.
It is the second such rainy spell in less than a month to hit KP and GB, where scores of people were killed and injured in rain-related incidents in March.