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Severe Storms Kill 81 in Pakistan; 172,016 Evacuated

Torrential rains and flooding have killed 81 people in Pakistan over the past two weeks and affected almost 300,000, authorities said July 28.

Severe rains which began in mid-July have caused havoc from north to south, damaging more than 1,900 houses and injuring dozens of people, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority said.

At least 38 people were killed in worst-hit northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 19 in Pakistan-run Kashmir, Ahmed Kamal said. Eleven people also died in central Punjab province, eight in Southwestern Baluchistan and five in Gilgit Baltistan.

So far 172,016 people have been evacuated to safer places, he said.

Torrential rains have also destroyed infrastructure, sweeping away dozens of roads and bridges, and inundating 375 villages in southern Punjab, the agency said.

New severe weather warnings have been issued for southern Sindh, central Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and the Kashmir region.

Pakistan is often hit by severe weather, killing hundreds and wiping out millions of acres of prime farmland in recent years, harming the heavily agrarian economy.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP