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Flash flood in Pakistan-administered Kashmir kills 13

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- Thirteen people were killed on Wednesday when a group of people was washed away by a flash flood in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, emergency officials said on Thursday, raising the death toll as a result of recent monsoon rains in northern Pakistan to 46.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said heavy monsoon rains triggered a flash flood in Machiara Nullah, around 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Muzaffarabad, in the Azad Kashmir region which is administered by Pakistan. The floods washed away at least eighteen people.

Five people were injured and taken to medical facilities while rescue teams had recovered four bodies by Thursday, with the remaining nine people still missing and presumed to have drowned. "Efforts (are) on to recover the remaining dead bodies," an NDMA official said, identifying the nine missing as six men and three women.

In other rain-triggered incidents on Wednesday, sixteen people were injured when a road collapsed as a bus drove over it in the Kotli district of Azad Kashmir. Landslides also killed two people in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, one in Abbottabad district and the other in Mansehra district.

Heavy monsoon rains in northern Pakistan have killed at least 51 people in recent weeks, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The worst-hit area is Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where emergency officials have reported that at least 31 people were killed and 32 others were injured.

Earlier this year, the Pakistani government warned that nearly 30 million people across the country could be affected by flooding this year, advising local government officials and local citizens for adequate preparedness. Millions of people were also affected by the monsoon season last year, killing more than 300 people. Some areas saw the worst rainfall since at least 1936.

In late July 2010, above-average heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions killed approximately 2,000 people and affected around 20 million others as floods covered about a fifth of the country. Torrential rains overflooded rivers, which went cascading across the country from the mountainous north, inundating successive regions until they reached the sea. It was the country's worst flooding in modern history.

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