At least 77 Die in Monsoon Rains in Pakistan, Flood Alerts Issued in India
Story Code : 1003217
Sherry Rehman said during a press briefing in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday that the toll is from June 14, when the monsoon started.
"When people die like that, it's not a small thing... It is just the beginning. We have to prepare for it," the minister said.
"One day you have drought and next morning you are expecting flash flood... so you can see how serious the situation is in Pakistan."
Most of the deaths were in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where 39 people drowned or were electrocuted by downed power lines.
Elsewhere in her remarks, Rehman warned that heavier-than-usual downpours were lying ahead.
Poorly built homes across Pakistan, particularly in rural areas, are prone to collapse in floods, which also destroy huge tracts of prime farmland.
The worst floods of recent times were in 2010 – covering almost a fifth of the country's landmass – killing nearly 2,000 people and displacing 20 million.
Pakistan is the eighth country most vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index compiled by environmental NGO Germanwatch.
Torrential downpours in India
Torrential downpours have also wreaked havoc on India's financial capital, Mumbai, and the nearby areas at the beginning of the monsoon season, flooding roads and disrupting the lives of millions of people in the densely populated mega city. Many parts of the city remain inundated in waist-deep water.
Monsoon rains are common in Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, around this time of the year.
Maharashtra's newly-appointed chief minister Eknath Shinde recently visited the disaster management control room to supervise relief and rescue efforts. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the city. In many areas, commuter trains were disrupted, bringing the usually bustling city to a standstill.
In Thane district, many residents from low-lying areas have shifted to storm shelters as water sloshed through their homes..
India's weather department has issued an orange alert for the city and its neighboring districts, predicting heavy to very heavy rains over the next five days.
Local media reports said River Kundalika, located on the outskirts of Mumbai, was flowing above the danger level.