Pakistan military helicopters, boats evacuate flood victims

AP News
Posted: Jul 22, 2015 8:01 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's military deployed helicopters and boats Wednesday to evacuate flood victims from the country's north, where monsoon rains and flash floods washed away several villages this week.

So far, three people have died while 285,000 have been affected by the floods in and around the city of Chitral in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to the National Disaster Management Authority.

In a statement, it said the flooding destroyed several bridges, homes, mosques, hotels and a power station in Chitral. It said rescuers had difficulty reaching the flooded region as the water washed away many roads.

Pakistan's military said its engineers repaired two of the damaged bridges in Chitral, while boats and helicopters evacuated those affected.

Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority, said floods also hit some towns and villages in the country's eastern Punjab province this week and that authorities still were assessing damage there.

Kamal said it was unclear how many people remain trapped in Chitral and elsewhere.

"We are taking all steps to urgently help flood-affected people," he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif traveled to Chitral on Wednesday and met with the residents. A statement released by Sharif's office said the prime minister directed authorities to repair damaged roads and other infrastructure.

Floods triggered by monsoon rains kill scores of people annually in Pakistan.