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Death Toll from Pakistan, India Floods Tops 300


Monsoon rains and flash floods across large areas of northern Pakistan and India have killed more than 300 people, while hundreds more have been injured and tens of thousands have lost homes.

Officials in Pakistan said Sunday that more than 160 people have been killed, most of them when roofs of homes collapsed. The government has sent army rescue teams to take stranded people to safer places. Officials say around 4,000 homes in Pakistan have collapsed partially or completely in the heavy rains and flash floods.

Pakistan's Chief Meteorologist Mohammad Riaz told VOA’s Urdu service that high floods are expected in parts of Punjab province over the next two to three days, but that there is no imminent danger of flooding in neighboring Sindh province.

"Its potential in Sindh will greatly decrease. And since the Indus River has a lot of capacity, I do not think it will cause great flooding," said Riaz.

The situation is no better across the border in India's northern states, where officials say at least 175 people have been killed. Authorities declared a disaster alert in northern areas after heavy rain inundated towns and villages.

Thousands of people are thought to be trapped by floods.

India's National Disaster Response Force Chief O.P. Singh said Sunday that rescue teams have been deployed across India-controlled Kashmir.

He said they have rescued nearly 4,000 people and recovered 13 bodies.

"Seventeen teams are working at different locations in the state. Some are in Jammu while some are in the valley. In the valley also, at some places apart from Srinagar, our teams are operational, said Singh.

He added that there were around 50 people per team providing those in need with boats, life jackets, life buoys and survival kits.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured the region and met top relief officials, describing the situation as "a national level disaster."

Weather officials say the rain will begin to subside gradually.

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