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Dhaka Tribune

Heavy rains, lightning in Pakistan kill 50

  • Millions of people were under extreme weather warnings in Pakistan
  • At least 50 people were killed by lightning and thunderstorms
Update : 16 Apr 2024, 09:02 PM

Lightning and heavy rains have killed at least 50 people across Pakistan in the last four days, officials said on Tuesday.

Authorities in the country’s southwest declared a state of emergency Monday, as some deaths occurred when lightning struck farmers harvesting wheat. Rains caused dozens of houses to collapse in the northwest and in eastern Punjab province.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) asked emergency services to remain vigilant with millions under threat from severe storms.

At least 21 people, including seven children, were killed in Punjab and another 21 were killed in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, officials said. 

Rain also lashed the capital, Islamabad, and killed seven people in southwestern Baluchistan province. Streets flooded in the northwestern city of Peshawar and in Quetta, the Baluchistan capital. 

Extreme weather has put the harvesting season on hold, with concerns that heavy rainfall due Thursday could also cause major damage in fields and result in significant crop yield losses.

Dozens dead in neighboring Afghanistan

Floods caused by heavy rains over the last four days also killed at least 50 people in neighboring Afghanistan, the country’s disaster agency said Tuesday. Another 36 people were injured in the floods, National Disaster Management Authority Janan Sayaq said.

Heavy rains, thunderstorms and flooding are unusual outside the July-September monsoon season in South Asia, one of the world’s most populous geographical regions.

Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of the world’s carbon emissions. But it is among the top 10 most climate-vulnerable nations.

In 2022, devastating floods and diseases killed more than 2,000 people in Pakistan.

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