Hundreds displaced by monsoon floods in Pakistan's Punjab province
Hundreds of people were displaced when at least 50 villages were inundated after the Chenab River burst its banks in Pakistan's Punjab province, officials said Thursday.
Authorities evacuated more than 14,000 people from villages elsewhere in the province earlier this month because of flooding caused by monsoon rains.
"You can say the seasonal rains are the cause of the rising water levels," said Aurong Zaib, an official at the Chiniot Flood Control Room.
"Due to river erosion, the low-lying villages have been affected by flooding," he told AFP.
River levels have also been affected by neighbouring India opening sluice gates to release pent-up water into the Indus tributary.
Sending thoughts & prayers to the people of Garhwal Akhnoor, Jammu. Devastating news about the rising waters in Chenab River, leading to the loss of homes and displacing hundreds.— Rohit Choudhary (@iRohitChoudhary) July 22, 2023
Grateful for the @JmuKmrPolice's support to the locals during this challenging time. pic.twitter.com/5ZCC2BZBt9
Officials have announced plans to build protective embankments along the Chenab but warned more flooding is expected in coming days.
The summer monsoon delivers 70-80 percent of South Asia's annual rainfall between June and September.
It is vital for the livelihoods of millions of farmers in a region of around two billion people but also brings landslides and floods.
Scientists say climate change is making seasonal rains heavier and more unpredictable.
Pakistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to long-term climate risk.
It is struggling to recover from the devastating floods that inundated nearly a third of the country in 2022, affecting more than 33 million people.