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Torrential Monsoon Rains Kill Nearly 70 in Pakistan: Officials

Two days of torrential monsoon rains have killed nearly 70 people in Pakistan, officials said Friday, as authorities ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas around a major river.

The deaths have all come in the most populous province Punjab and in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, with most caused by roof collapses and electric shocks.

Pakistan has suffered deadly monsoon floods for the last four years – in 2013, 178 people were killed and around 1.5 million affected by flooding around the country. Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) warned there was a high risk of flooding in three towns along the Chenab river in Punjab and asked people to leave low-lying and vulnerable areas.

Troops have been mobilised for flood relief duties in eastern Punjab and “will remain on standby in Lahore”, the provincial capital.

Dramatic images from Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, on Thursday showed some major streets flooded.

“At least 35 people have died and 108 been injured in Punjab, 18 of them died and 53 injured in Lahore,” Rizwan Naseer, the director general of rescue services in Punjab, said.

“Most of the deaths occurred due to roof collapses and electric shocks in the last 48 hours.”

Naseer warned that the death toll was likely to rise as reports were coming in of floodwaters sweeping through villages in rural areas.

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