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Torrential monsoon spell claims 18 more lives across the country

KARACHI: At least 18 more people became victims of torrential spell of monsoon rains across the country as inundated cities and prompted flash floods washed away bridges and submerged houses and markets.

In Karachi, the rain, which started early on Sunday continued to come down till 10am with frequent breaks and by the end of first half of the day the city had received up to 204-millimetre rain.

The Met Office said that though the system took a break on Tuesday, it was likely to persist for at least two more days.

Due to incessant rain and subsequent accumulation of water, protests against administration officials erupted in several areas of Sindh against hours-long power outages and inundation of residential areas as they complained that officials were nowhere to be found.

Like the weekend, Monday also spelt misery for the citizens of Karachi. Though the fresh spell of the current monsoon season had weakened in Karachi, it still claimed 11 more lives in a single day: five people lost their lives due to electrocution, while six persons drowned.

Though several key roads were cleared by the administration after hours-long efforts in the city by the sea, life remained miserable in several low-lying areas, residential neighborhoods, housing societies and commercial centers which remained flooded.

In Hyderabad, a 20-year-old man was reported dead in village Baqar Nizamani of Tando Mohammad Khan district. In Dadu and Khairpur Mirs, two persons were killed and 10 others were injured in rain-related incidents.

Large swathes of land came under water as rain flooded streets and inundated standing crops in villages of the coastal districts of Thatta and Sujawal. The deluge also suspended traffic between Karachi and Badin as water accumulated on the national highway passing through the Thatta district.

Meanwhile, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, over 260 persons were rescued from the low-lying villages located along the River Kabul after the river overflowed and entered several localities late on Sunday and Monday.

On the other hand, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) also issued a low to medium flood alert for the districts of Haripur, Swabi and Nowshera districts in anticipation of the opening of the Tarbela Dam spillways.

Punjab has received 150 per cent more rain so far as compared to the last monsoon, according to Provincial Disaster Management Authority Director General Faisal Farid. However, he ruled out the possibility of flooding in the province.

Meanwhile, the downpour submerged parts of Rawalpindi as rainwater entered shops and houses destroying property worth millions. Leh Nullah rose to 15 feet at Gowalmandi and Kattarian bridges.

The rain varying from light to heavy forced the local administration to turn on the flood sirens as a warning sign for dwellers along the banks of the nullah to move to secure places.

Meanwhile, in Balochistan, the third spell of monsoon rains wreaked havoc in various parts of the province, washing away at least two bridges on the Quetta-Karachi National Highway – Landa Dora near Bela and Danda area of Uthal – and resulting in the death of four people in Khuzdar and Lasbela.

In addition, a section of the Hub Bridge, which connects Sindh and Balochistan, was washed away in a heavy flash flood late on Monday, cutting off Hub from Karachi.

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