ISLAMABAD (AP) -- The death toll from more than five weeks of monsoon rains and flash flooding across Pakistan has reached 304, authorities said Saturday.
Since mid-June, the deluge has swollen rivers and damaged highways and bridges, disrupting traffic. Almost 9,000 homes have been fully destroyed or partially damaged.
Particularly hard-hit was the volatile, impoverished southwestern Baluchistan province, where 99 people died in rain-related incidents and subsequent flooding, followed by 70 dead in southern Sindh province.
There have also been 61 fatalities in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, and 60 in eastern Punjab province. The dead include women and children, and at least 284 people have been injured.
Every year, much of Pakistan struggles with the annual monsoons, drawing criticism about poor government planning. The season runs from July through September. Rains are essential for irrigating crops and replenishing dams and other water reservoirs in Pakistan.