Landslides Block Key Roads in Northern Pakistan, As the Death Toll From Monthlong Rains Rises to 133

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Landslides triggered by torrential rains have blocked several key roads in northern Pakistan, stranding tourists and disrupting traffic, officials said Monday, as the death toll from weather-related incidents in the past month rose to at least 133.

Thousands of tourists have thronged scenic tourist destinations in the north in recent days, ignoring warnings from the disaster management agency, which asked people last week to avoid unnecessary trips as ongoing monsoon rains can cause landslides and flash floods.

Landslides caused by rain hit several roads in the northern districts of Chitral, Dir and Battagram in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday. Authorities were trying to clear roads to restore traffic in the mountainous areas, said Taimur Khan, a spokesperson for the provincial disaster management authority.

At least 133 people have died in weather-related incidents across Pakistan since June 24 when monsoon rains began.

Heavy rains have swollen three main rivers -- the Jhelum, Sutlej and Chenab in eastern Punjab province -- prompting the disaster management agency to be on high alert for more flash floods, which have already affected at least 15,000 people in the past three weeks.

Monsoon rains have returned to Pakistan a year after devastating floods killed 1,739 people across the country. The monsoon season, which officially began on July 1, will continue until September in the South Asian country.