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Lightning and rain kill 36 people in Pakistan

Lightning and rain kill 36 people in Pakistan

 


ISLAMABAD Lightning and heavy rains have killed at least 36 people, mostly farmers, across Pakistan over the past three days, officials said Monday, as authorities in the country's southwest declared the 'emergency state.

Most of the deaths occurred when lightning struck farmers harvesting wheat and rains caused houses to collapse in eastern Punjab province, said Arfan Kathia, spokesman for the provincial water management authority. disasters. He added that more rain was expected this week.

Rains, which also hit the capital Islamabad, killed seven people in the southwestern province of Balochistan over the weekend, and eight others died in the border province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (northwest). with Afghanistan. Authorities in Balochistan have declared a state of emergency.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a televised address that he had ordered authorities to provide humanitarian aid to rain-hit areas. Pakistan's water reservoirs will improve thanks to the rains, he said, while expressing concern over the deaths and damage.

Heavy flooding due to seasonal rains in Afghanistan has killed 33 people and injured 27 others over the past three days, according to Abdullah Janan Saiq, Taliban spokesman at the State Ministry for Natural Disaster Management.

More than 600 houses were damaged or destroyed while around 200 livestock died. The flooding also damaged large areas of farmland and more than 85 kilometers (53 miles) of roads, it said.

He said Afghan authorities had provided aid to nearly 23,000 families and flash floods had been reported in 20 of the country's 34 provinces.

Rafay Alam, a Pakistani environmental expert, said such heavy rainfall in April was unusual. “Two years ago, Pakistan experienced a heatwave in March and April and now we are seeing rains and all this is due to climate change, which has caused heavy flooding in 2022,” he said. declared.

In 2022, downpours caused rivers to swell and, at one point, flooded a third of Pakistan, killing 1,739 people. The floods also caused $30 billion in damage.

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