Continuing rains lash Pakistan, India as regional flooding kills more than 1,200
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Torrential monsoon rains are lashing Pakistan's port city of Karachi following days-long downpours in neighbouring India that have caused havoc in Mumbai.
TV footage showed streets were submerged and several fatalaties have already been reported after the heavy rains began early Thursday. Pakistan's meteorological department says rains will continue for three days in various parts of Sindh province, where authorities closed schools as a precaution.
Windstorms and rains are also expected in the southwestern Baluchistan and eastern Punjab provinces. The meteorological department says rains are also expected in the capital, Islamabad, and in Pakistan's portion of Kashmir.
Rains regularly trigger floods in South Asian nations during the monsoon season, which runs from June through September.
In Mumbai, the rains halted public transport and caused flights to be diverted earlier this week.
Two toddlers were among the 14 found dead after floods caused by heavy monsoon rains destroyed homes and disrupted traffic in India's financial capital, police said, but lighter-than-feared rain on Wednesday helped relief efforts.
Eleven people were killed when a six-storey building collapsed early Thursday in the coastal city of more than 20 million people.
Millions of people across India, Nepal and Bangladesh have been affected by the floods ravaging South Asia this monsoon season. More than 1,200 have been killed. Several villages in the east Indian state of Bihar are still inundated, with people living in makeshift shelters for days amid widespread heavy damage to farmland.
Tuesday's deluge in Mumbai brought nearly a month's average rainfall in a single day.
Police said a 45-year-old woman and a 1-1/2-year-old child, members of the same family, died after their home in the northeastern suburb of Vikhroli crumbled on Tuesday, while a 2-year-old girl died in a wall collapse.
In the neighbouring city of Thane, three people died after being swept away by floods, police added. Some died by falling into open manholes in flooded streets in various suburbs.
Mumbai Police spokeswoman Rashmi Karandikar said seven other people were missing in Mumbai.
In neighbouring suburbs six people were missing, said a police official, who declined to be named.
The deluge revived memories of 2005 floods that killed more than 500 people, the majority of them in shantytown slums where more than half of the city's 20 million people live.
Unabated construction on floodplains and coastal areas, as well as stormwater drains and waterways clogged by plastic garbage have made the city increasingly vulnerable to storms.
The Red Cross has termed this year's floods the worst for decades in some parts of the region.
It says entire communities have been cut off and many are short of food and clean water.
The east Indian state of Bihar has been particularly hard hit, with over 500 people killed this monsoon season.
Around 1.7 million people were reportedly affected by the floods, which are now receding.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP, AP)