Flash floods displace over 7,000 people in Pakistan

Islamabad (dpa) - More than 7,000 people have been forced from their homes while at least 87 villages have been inundated by flash floods in Pakistan's North-Western Frontier province, officials said on Monday.

Five people also drowned as the floodwater washed away more than 1,500 houses as well as crops in various districts including Peshawar, Charsadda, Swat, Nowshera, and Chitral.

However, officials feared that the damage toll could rise as assessment teams have not been able to access some of the affected areas.

Mohammad Saleem of the Provincial Flood Commission told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that an evacuation of the population in some affected areas was still underway with the help of army soldiers.

Saleem said two people drowned when a rescue boat carrying about 12 passengers capsized in Kabul River.

The provincial government has appealed to the federal government and to international organizations for food and other relief goods.

The floods were triggered by unusually rapid snowmelt in the Hindu Kush mountain range as an abnormal heat wave gripped the entire South Asian region last month.

The scorching heat claimed more than 150 lives in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province where temperatures in some areas shot up to more than 50 degrees.

Last week, the onset of monsoon rains provided much-needed relief but have subsequently led to flooding, which killed eight people in Punjab.

Neighbouring India has also been feeling the ravages of the weather, with nine days of heavy monsoon rains blamed for the deaths of more than 150 people. The western Indian state of Gujarat has been worst affected by the deluge. dpa kh ch


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