Torrential rains kill more than 230 in Pakistan, India
More than 230 people in Pakistan and northern India
have been killed in torrential monsoon rains which triggered flooding,
landslides and house collapses, officials in the two countries said on Saturday.
Troops and other emergency personnel were deployed in
both countries to help with relief operations, with boats and helicopters being
used to reach stranded people.
Incessant rains in Pakistan have killed at least 106
people over the past three days and damaged thousands of houses, officials said
as authorities put four districts on red alert for floods. And in neighbouring
India, torrential rains and flooding have left at least 128 people dead and
marooned thousands more, according to officials.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a
high-level review meeting Saturday and ordered acceleration of relief and
rescue efforts in the country, his office said.
In worst-hit Punjab province, the death toll from
rains and flooding over the past three days hit 55 while 235 people were
injured, rescue services director general Rizwan Naseer, told AFP. Another 48
people have died in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, said Akram Sohail, chairman
of the disaster management agency in capital Muzaffarabad.
Three soldiers also were killed in a mudslide on Thursday
near the de-facto border with India, known as the Line of Control dividing
disputed Pakistani- and Indian-administered Kashmir.
Pakistan has been swept by deadly monsoon floods for
the last four years - in 2013, 178 people were killed and around 1.5 million
affected by flooding around the country. Rescue workers struggled to reach
remote mountain villages in Pakistan's scenic Neelum valley along the Line of
Control but landslides hampered efforts.
“The landslides caused by rains have damaged 4,000
houses in Kashmir - more than half have been destroyed,” Sohail said.