Pakistan’s death toll from weeks-long monsoon rains and flash floods tops 300

The death toll from more than five weeks of monsoon rains and flash floods across Pakistan has reached 304, authorities said on Saturday.

Since mid-June, the deluge has swelled rivers and damaged highways and bridges, disrupting traffic. Nearly 9,000 houses were completely destroyed or partially damaged.

The volatile and impoverished southwestern province of Balochistan was particularly affected, where 99 people died in incidents linked to subsequent rain and flooding, followed by 70 deaths in the southern province of Sindh.

There were also 61 deaths in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which borders Afghanistan, and 60 in the eastern province of Punjab. The dead include women and children, and at least 284 people were injured.

Every year, much of Pakistan struggles with the annual monsoons, drawing criticism over the government’s poor planning. The season runs from July to September. Rains are essential to irrigate crops and fill dams and other water reservoirs in Pakistan.