Karachi/Peshawar, Aug 28 (PTI) Torrential rains and flash floods have claimed 39 lives in several areas of Pakistan with its financial hub Karachi pounded by heavy showers that submerged roads and underpasses, paralysed business activities and brought normal life to a complete halt.
At least 16 people, including a woman and two children, were killed and eight others injured due to flash floods caused by torrential rains in northwest Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) district, a disaster management official said on Friday.
Eight people died in Upper Kohistan district, six in Swat and two in Shangla district of the province due to the floods on Thursday night, an official of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said, adding that 40 houses were damaged in these areas.
The flood water inundated houses in Shahgram and Teerat area of Swat district from where six deaths and injuries to eight people were reported.
PDMA Director General Pervez Khan and Secretary of relief rushed to the affected areas to oversee rescue activities.
The rescue activities are underway in full swing in the affected areas and people are being shifted to safer places, Khan said.
KPK Chief Minister K P Mehmood Khan, who also hails from Swat, has expressed concern over the loss of life and property.
Heavy rainfall played havoc in Karachi, claiming the lives of at least 23 people since Tuesday.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah termed the 'unprecedented downpour' a disaster and also urged people to avoid stepping out until the storm passed and the water accumulated on the streets was pumped out, the Express Tribune reported on Friday.
Shah said that the district administrations and local bodies have been mobilised to provide relief to the affected. The PDMA has been directed to arrange dry food items, potable water, tents, and other essential items for those being rescued and shifted to camps, it said.
According to a report in the Dawn, the Sindh government declared a public holiday on Friday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed concern over the situation in Karachi.
'My govt is fully cognizant of the suffering of our people in the wake of the heavy rains, especially the people of Karachi. I am personally monitoring the relief & rescue operations & am in constant contact with Chairman NDMA & Governor Sindh for regular updates,' he tweeted on Thursday.
A senior police official confirmed that at least 12 people were killed in various rain-related incidents in Karachi on Thursday.
'There have been at least 11 cases of drowning in different parts of the city due to the flooding since yesterday,' Deputy Inspector General of Police Aamir Hameed said.
The met office said on Thursday that the rainfall in the month of August had broken an 89-year-old record.
Incessant rains in Karachi since early morning left life and all business activities paralysed in the metropolitan city as people found themselves stuck on flooded roads and scampered to reach the safety of their homes.
Videos posted on social media and footage on television channels painted a grim picture of a major collapse of the civic structure in Karachi, with rain water even entering homes in some areas while most main roads remained flooded and closed for traffic.
Since Tuesday, when the monsoon rainfall began at intervals, rescue and police officials said around 23 people had died from rain-related incident.
A top rescue official said at least 55 people have died in Karachi from rain-related incidents since the monsoon season began in the city in July.
Vehicles could be seen submerged as rain continued to lash the city and even the heavy containers in the Saddar area which have been brought in by the law enforcement agencies for the Muharram processions were seen floating around on the heavy flooded roads. PTI AYZ Corr RS RS