Death toll from weekslong rains in Pakistan rises to 282

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Laborers carry produce as they wade through a flooded road after heavy rainfall, in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, July 21, 2022. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The death toll from five weeks of monsoon rains and flash floods jumped to at least 282 in Pakistan on Thursday, officials said, as the latest downpours continued lashing the impoverished country.

The deluge has swollen rivers, damaged highways, bridges and about 5,600 houses since June 14, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said in its report.

The rains also flooded many areas across Pakistan, disrupting normal traffic.

Many of the 282 people who died in rain-related incidents were women and children.

Most of the damages and casualties were reported from the southwestern Baluchistan province. Rains also caused casualties and damages in the northwest bordering Afghanistan, eastern Punjab province and southern Sindh province.

Every year, many cities in Pakistan struggle with the annual monsoon deluge, drawing criticism about poor government planning. The season runs from July through September. Rains are essential for irrigating crops and replenishing dams and other water reservoirs in Pakistan.

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