Pakistani province issues a flood alert and warns of a heavy loss of life from glacial melting


PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani province has issued a flood alert because of glacial melting and warned of a heavy loss of life if safety measures aren’t undertaken, officials said Saturday.

Pakistan has witnessed days of extreme weather, killing scores of people and destroying property and farmland. Experts say the country is experiencing heavier rains than normal in April because of climate change.

In the mountainous northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has been hit particularly hard by the deluges, authorities issued a flood alert because of the melting of glaciers in several districts.

They said the flood could worsen and that people should move to safer locations ahead of any danger.

“If timely safety measures are not taken, there is a possibility of heavy loss of life and property due to the expected flood situation,” said Muhammad Qaiser Khan, from the local disaster management authority.

Latest figures from the province said that 59 people, including 33 children, have died in the past five days because of rain-related incidents.

At least 2,875 houses and 26 schools have either collapsed or been damaged.

The southwest province of Baluchistan has also been battered by rainfall. It said it had limited resources to deal with the current situation, but if the rains continued, it would look to the central government for help.

In 2022, downpours swelled rivers and at one point inundated a third of Pakistan, killing 1,739 people. The floods also caused $30 billion in damage.

Pakistan’s monsoon season starts in June.

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