Dozens killed as heavy rains batter northwest Pakistan

Provincial information minister says 35 are dead and 200 injured by wind storm and heavy rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Devastating storm kills at least 30 in Peshawar
Provincial officials said around 200 people had been injured in Sunday's storm [EPA]

At least 35 people have died after a windstorm and heavy rains lashed northwest Pakistan, provincial officials said.

Mushtaq Ghani, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, declared a state of emergency at all hospitals in the province and said 200 people had been injured because of the bad weather on Sunday. 

Another official, Munir Azam, said the rain had caused heavy damage to infrastructure, adding flights at Peshawar’s airport had been suspended because more rain is expected overnight.

The downpour caused the ceilings of a number of houses to cave in and collapse in Nowshera, Charsada, and the areas in the outskirts of the regional capital, Peshawar.

Rescuers rushed victims to hospitals as roads submerged in water hindered their operations. Ambulances and rescue vehicles found it difficult to enter into some areas due to fallen trees and electric poles, the Associated Press news agency reported.

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.

Lutfur Rehman, a local disaster management official, said winds had reached up to 120 kph.

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

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies