KARACHI, Pakistan

The death toll from three days of heavy monsoon rains triggering flash floods in Pakistan has risen to at least 58, officials said on Sunday.

The southern Sindh and southwestern Balochistan provinces, and the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region have been badly hit by the recent rain spell: flash floods and gusty winds washed away several roads, and bridges, downed trees and utility poles and damaged standing crops.

Hundreds of villages have been submerged, forcing the government to call in the army for rescue operations.

As many as eight people died in rain-related incidents in Balochistan, 19 in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eight in Punjab, 12 in Sindh, 10 in Gilgit-Baltistan and one in Azad Kashmir, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, a state-run coordinating agency.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority – Sindh said it has dispatched six motorboats and more than 5,000 rescue & relief items including tents, mosquito nets, for victims in Dadu district.

In Balochistan, some 300 villages in 15 districts have been inundated, Liaquat Shahwani, a spokesman for the provincial government, told reporters.

A Pakistan Army spokesman said a relief and rescue operation was underway. “Pakistan Army and navy rescue teams, including medical and engineering teams, are assisting the civil administration to rescue the stranded people to safer places,” he added.

In parts of northern Pakistan, the rains also triggered landslides, blocking Karakorum Highway that connects Pakistan with China.

Meteorologists have forecast light to moderate rains in the next 24 hours. Hence, authorities have urged the citizens to avoid unnecessary travel.

Every year, many cities in Pakistan struggle to cope with the annual monsoon deluge. The season runs from July through September.

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