Pakistan floods kill at least 53 after heavy rains

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People gather around their shops after they were swept away by flash floods triggered by heavy rainsImage source, EPA
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Poverty and poor infrastructure greatly exacerbate the impact of floods

At least 53 people have been killed by flash floods caused by torrential rain in northwest Pakistan, say officials.

The rain began on Saturday bringing flooding to parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan-administered-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces.

Pre-monsoon rains often cause damage in rural Pakistan and officials said locals had been warned to leave their villages for safer places.

The summer monsoon season is even worse, last year killing dozens.

The weekend's rains also saw dozens of people taken to hospital with injuries, a national disaster management official, Latif ur Rehman, told the Associated Press.

Image source, AP
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Villagers tried to salvage what they could from flooded homes and shops
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Heavy pre-monsoon rains are common in the region
Image source, Getty Images
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As well as dozens of deaths, several people were reported injured

Pictures showed shops and homes damaged, and bridges swept away.

Habib Khan, from northern Swat valley, told local TV: "We're left on our own. Nobody from the government is coming to help us."

Officials said tents and other relief goods had been sent to the region. Hundreds of people have also moved to safer areas, local media reports.