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More than 200 Dead After Monsoon Floods Rage in India and Pakistan

Hundreds are dead and tens of thousands marooned after torrential rains pummel the region.

by Liz Fields
Sep 6 2014, 5:10pm

Photo by Dar Yasin/AP

Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential monsoon rains have killed at least 108 people in India and 110 in Pakistan in the worst weather crisis the region has witnessed in six decades, local officials said Saturday.

In the eastern Pakistan province of Punjab, officials declared a state of emergency as swelling rainwaters inundated villages, collapsing at least 4,000 homes around the country, a government official said.

At least 61 have died since Thursday after being crushed by collapsing roofs, Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority, told the Associated Press.

A sit-in outside the Pakistani Parliament House in Islamabad was dampened on September 4, due to heavy rains. This footage captures demonstrators taking cover from the monsoon weather in their protest camp.

Across Pakistan, another 38 died in Kashmir and 11 were killed in Gilgit-Baltistan in the north, Kamal said. At least 148 have been injured in the past five days.

Rescue workers and the army are scrambling to evacuate locals and have set up close to 50 camps to provide temporary shelter, Kamal said, adding, "We are dispatching tents and other relief items for those who have been affected."

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently facing threats to his leadership and riots in Islamabad, emerged from the crisis in the country's capital to pledge his support to flood victims.

"The government will leave no stone unturned to help the people in distress," Sharif said in a statement.

Three People Were Killed and 400 Wounded During Protests in Pakistan This Weekend. Read more here.

Jammu and Kashmir was hit by flooding described by reports as the worst in 60 years at the beginning of September. More than 100 people were reported dead several days after the floods began. Footage shows flood waters in a southern suburb of Srinagar.

In India, the death toll rose to 108 as flooding devastated homes and set off landslides, while some 300 rescue workers struggled to save tens of thousands that have been marooned across the region, according to local media.

In the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, local media reported that a bus carrying a wedding party was washed away by rising waters on Thursday morning. All but three of the 52 on board are feared dead, according to authorities.

The Indian weather office told The Times of India that residents should prepare for more rain on Saturday, but that weather conditions should improve on Sunday.

"From tomorrow (Sunday) onwards, Jammu and Kashmir will have clear weather for the next one week. As the system has already started weakening, we can safely say the worst is over," Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Office, said.

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