3 days of rains in Pakistan kill 90, disrupt life in Karachi

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Three days of monsoon rains have killed at least 90 people and damaged at least a thousand homes across Pakistan, the country’s national disaster management agency said Tuesday, as another spell of heavy rain lashed the port city of Karachi.

Streets and homes were flooded with sewage water in Karachi, where the drainage and sewage systems are outdated.

Of the total rain-related casualties, 31 deaths were reported in southern Sindh province, while 23 people died in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to the agency. It said 15 deaths were reported in southwestern Baluchistan province and eight in Punjab province. Thirteen more people died elsewhere in northern Pakistan, including three in the Pakistan-administered sector of Kashmir.

Troops, rescuers and volunteers from the radical Islamist group Tehreek-e-Labbaik were seen evacuating people from inundated residential neighborhoods in Karachi as some families waded through waist-high water. Hundreds of rain-affected people went to the houses of relatives in the country’s largest city.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, troops using boats evacuated 300 people from rain-hit district of Dadu in Sindh province, while 1,245 people were evacuated from Karachi’s rain-hit areas, where residents said they were still waiting for help.

Scores of vehicles were seen submerged in water in Karachi.

The rains are expected to continue this week in Karachi, where Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month sent troops to help local authorities in pumping out rainwater from inundated residential areas.

Monsoon rains are lashing Pakistan at a time when authorities are trying to contain the spread of the coronovirus, which caused more than 6,200 deaths since February when the country reported its first case. Pakistan reported nine more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, one of the lowest numbers of daily fatalities since March.

Every year, many cities in Pakistan struggle to cope with the annual monsoon deluge, drawing criticism about poor planning. The monsoon season runs from July through September.