Death toll from flooding in northwest Pakistan rises to 48

Flash floods triggered by week-long monsoon rains in northwestern Pakistan have brought the death toll to 48

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Flash floods triggered by week-long monsoon rains that have hit northwestern Pakistan, including the scenic Swat Valley, have brought the death toll to 48, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged or swept away. The army has joined relief and rescue operations across Pakistan, which has been hard hit by rains this summer.

Key roads that have been blocked by large rocks dislodged in mudslides are being cleared, according to Taimur Khan, spokesman for the disaster management agency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Before Thursday's updated death toll, the province had said 15 died in the floods.

Overall, about 200 people have been killed in rain-related incidents since July, when monsoon rains began lashing many areas in Pakistan. According to government officials, 101 have died in rain-related incidents in southern Sindh province, which includes the country's financial hub of Karachi.

Every year, many cities in Pakistan struggle to cope with the annual monsoon deluge, drawing criticism about poor planning. The monsoon season runs from July through September.