28 killed in flash floods in PoK

28 killed in flash floods in PoK

Pakistani Kashmiri walk along a damaged road following heavy monsoon rains in Neelum valley near the Line of Control in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (AFP Photo)

Heavy rains and flash floods have wreaked havoc in the Neelum Valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), killing at least 28 people and sweeping away mosques and houses, according to a media report.

Over 150 houses in the Laswa area of the valley were damaged and dozens of people have swept away in floods that officials said were caused by a cloudburst, the Express Tribune reported.

Two mosques were also completely destroyed in the flash floods, officials said. Cell phone and internet services were also affected in the area.

The Pakistani military on Monday airlifted 52 stranded people from a village and shifted them to camps and safer places, the Army said in a statement.

Several people are still stranded in their houses and efforts are underway to evacuate them.

Teams including officials from the district administration, disaster management authority and local police are conducting rescue operations in the area.

State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) Director Operations Saaedur Rehman Qureshi confirmed the death toll and said it was likely to rise, the daily reported.

He said the deceased include 10 Islamic missionaries.

“We are frantically searching for more missing people. This is a popular tourist spot so there is a strong probability of the death toll increasing," he was quoted as saying.