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Pakistan floods: at least 90 killed in monsoon rains

Streets and homes flooded with sewage in Karachi as downpours overwhelm outdated waste system in country’s largest city

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 has said.

Streets and homes were flooded with sewage water in Karachi on Tuesday, where the city’s outdated drainage and waste systems were overwhelmed by another spell of heavy rain.

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 south-western Baluchistan province and eight in Punjab province. Thirteen more people died elsewhere in the north of the country, 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 people were forced to take shelter in the houses of relatives in the country’s largest city.

According to the disaster agency, 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 the 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.