HEAVY monsoon rains have swept away homes leaving 78 villagers dead in Pakistan, reports children’s charity Plan International.
Flash floods have hit South Punjab and Northern Sindh with further downpours forecast for Balochistan.
Aid workers for Plan have stockpiled supplies, including hygiene kits and shelter, for up to 50,000 people.
“In South Punjab, hill torrents caused by widespread rain flooded many areas – hundreds of mud houses were swept away,” says Plan’s country director in Pakistan, Rashid Javed.
“Floods have damaged infrastructure including roads and culverts – families have taken shelter on roads, banks and other high places.”
The same areas suffered their worst floods for 80 years in 2010, with 2.5 million caught up in the crisis.
In Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab, rainwater has twice breaches of the canal, leaving much of the 500-year-old city submerged.
“Almost half of the city is inundated with deep flood water,” says Mr Javed. “Most people have started to move to higher, safer places.
“These include schools, sheltering under trees and at relatives’ homes, while some are still lying on the roadside under open skies.”
At least 40,000 people are on the move in Punjab alone, while the government has deployed boats to help evacuate.
Floods have also swamped Sindh Province, where more rain fell in a month than in average monsoon season.
“Homes have been destroyed and thousands of acres of crops damaged with major soil erosion,” says Mr Javed.
For more information on Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org