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Pakistan Braces For More Heavy Rains After Hundreds Die In Month Of Flash Floods


A Pakistani soldier rescues a child from the flood-affected Rajanpur district in Punjab Province on August 2.

The heaviest monsoon rains that Pakistan has seen in three decades have triggered flash floods that have killed hundreds of people, and meteorologists are warning that more heavy rains are still to come.

Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on August 5 that floods have taken the lives of at least 549 people over the past month, with remote communities in the impoverished southwestern province of Balochistan among the worst affected.

Last month saw 133 percent more rain fall than the average for the past 30 years, the NDMA said, with Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, receiving 300 percent more rain than the annual average.

The flash floods have also damaged more than 46,200 houses, the NDMA said.

Authorities and the military have set up aid and relief camps in flood-hit regions and have been providing food and medicine to those affected.

"We're doing our best to provide for extensive relief and rehabilitation of flood victims," Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said during a visit to stricken areas.

Balochistan's provincial government said it needed more funds and appealed to international organizations for assistance.

"Our losses are massive," the province's Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bezenjo said, adding that Balochistan needed "huge assistance" from the government and from international aid agencies.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Meteorological Department (PMD) forecast another spell of heavy monsoon rains on August 5 that could hamper rescuers' efforts even further.

With reporting by Reuters, Dawn.com, and Geo TV

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