Heavy rains kill 45 in north­west Pak­istan: gov­ern­ment

The China Post - - GUIDE POST - BY RIAZ KHAN

Heavy rains and strong winds tore through north­west Pak­istan on Sun­day, up­root­ing trees, col­laps­ing build­ings and killing at least 45 peo­ple, of­fi­cials said.

The storm also in­jured over 200 peo­ple, pro­vin­cial In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Mush­taq Ghani said. Winds reached up to 120 kilo­me­ters per hour (75 miles per hour), said Lut­fur Rehman, a lo­cal dis­as­ter man­age­ment of­fi­cial.

“It was very un­usual. It took peo­ple by sur­prise,” Rehman said. Pak­istan typ­i­cally ex­pe­ri­ences such rains dur­ing its mon­soon sea­son in June and July.

An emer­gency was de­clared at all lo­cal hos­pi­tals in Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa prov­ince, where Pe­shawar is the cap­i­tal, Ghani said.

The rain started on Sun­day af­ter­noon and caused heavy dam­age to the re­gion’s in­fra­struc­ture, city Com­mis­sioner Mu­nir Azam said. All flight op­er­a­tions at the Pe­shawar air­port were suspended be­cause more rain was ex­pected overnight, he said.

The Pak­istani army said troops were sent to the area to launch res­cue and re­lief op­er­a­tions.

Res­cuers rushed vic­tims to hos­pi­tals as roads sub­merged in wa­ter hin­dered their op­er­a­tions. Am­bu­lances and res­cue ve­hi­cles found dif­fi­cult to en­ter into some ar­eas due to fallen trees and elec­tric poles.

Res­i­dents car­ried some of the in­jured on their backs to cars head­ing to hos­pi­tals.

“No­body is com­ing to our help,” said An­sar Khan, who said his fam­ily was buried un­der the rub­ble of one build­ing.


A boy holds an um­brella as he crosses a road in heavy rain, in Rawalpindi, Pak­istan on Mon­day, April 27.

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