ISLAMABAD While millions of people have been affected by the floods and losses to property and infrastructure are expected to be in billions of rupees, a new system of rains is developing in the Bay of Bengal that would reach the country in coming few days. Rescue and relief operation in flood-affected areas of the country are continuing and Cabinets special meeting was briefed about the operation, said Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Ali Bukhari, while addressing a press conference. He was flanked by Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Gen (R) Nadeem Ahmed and DG Met Office Ch Qamar-uz-Zaman. The Minister said that the cabinet meeting also decided that Independence Day on Aug 14 would be celebrated in a solemn manner. During Ramazan, the cabinet decided, office timing would be from Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. while on Friday timings would be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sumsam further informed. The cabinet, he said, also decided to allow the markets to remain open till 9 p.m. Sumsam Bokhari said that in order to provide relief to the flood afectees cabinet ministers and government employees in 17 and above scales would donate one day salary in the PMs flood relief fund. To a question, NDMA Chairman Nadeem Ahmad said that exact loss could not be ascertained at this stage, as it would be in billions of rupees. Maximum efforts are underway to provide maximum relief to the victims, he informed. Giving details of losses in floods, the Minister said that in Balochistan 24 flood-related deaths have been confirmed while 98 persons have been injured with 19,604 houses damaged. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sumsam said, 797 persons have lost their lives with 790 injuries, while 1,55,293 houses have been damaged. He said that the relief goods including tents, food packets, sand bags, blankets etc have been distributed among the victims and Rs21 million as financial support. Talking about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Minister said that due to damaged roads rescue teams have not yet reached Kalam area. All efforts are being made to provide maximum relief, he added. Talking about Punjab situation, he said 52 deaths have been reported with 108 persons injured and 14,746 houses damaged. In Punjab 11,000 tents, 37,000 food packets have been distributed. In Sindh, he added, there was fear that areas near Guddu and Sukker barrages would be affected by the floods. The Sindh government has deputed MPAs to look after the rescue and relief operation in 15-km areas each. Sumsam said that in Gilgit Baltistan six deaths have been confirmed due to floods and 1,105 houses have been damaged and all main roads blocked. The minister said that the cabinet also condemned Peshawar suicide blast and expressed sympathies with the families of the victims.