20 Jul 2009

Monsoon rain kills 26 in southern Pakistan

8:10 am on 20 July 2009

At least 26 people, mostly women and children, were killed and hundreds injured after the first torrential rains of the monsoon lashed Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, officials said on Sunday.

The heavy monsoon rain, which started early on Saturday, brought much of the city to a standstill as power and communication systems were badly affected and hundreds of people were forced from their homes.

Meteorological officials said more rain was due in the next 24 hours in southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital.

Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal told AFP a bridge had collapsed, and roads were badly damaged during the 48-hour period of rainfall.

A senior meteorological official in Islamabad said that the overall monsoon rains in Pakistan are expected to be about 30% lower than normal.

The monsoon season in Pakistan usually runs from early July to mid September.