Dozens killed as storm system sweeps across Pakistan

Days of torrential rain kill at least 49 people across the country, with Balochistan province suffering severe damage.

    Dozens killed as storm system sweeps across Pakistan
    Torrential rain caused the collapse of a coal mine in the Orakzai Tribal Agency in northern Pakistan [EPA]

    Days of torrential rain have triggered widespread flooding in Pakistan, killing at least 49 people.

    The southwest province of Balochistan was hit first by the rains, and suffered some of the worst damage.

    At least 18 people were killed in the province, and there were also deaths in the northwestern tribal region, the eastern province of Punjab and the northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunhwa.

    The majority of those who died were killed when their houses collapsed on them, officials said. Seven mine workers also died when a coal mine collapsed in Orakzai tribal region.

    The rain that swept across Pakistan was from the same weather system that brought storms to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday last week.

    After forcing the closure of schools and businesses across the Emirates, as well as Abu Dhabi airport, the storms moved east.

    The severe weather crossed southeastern Iran and into Pakistan. The rain started in the Balochistan province on Thursday, before spreading to the rest of the country.

    Islamabad reported 70mm of rain in just one day, which is nearly the average for the entire month of March.

    READ MORE: Severe storms batter Gulf states

    The neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and northern India were also hit by the storms, with hail decimating crops in northern India's Haryana state, the country's primary wheat bowl.

    In the mountainous regions of northern India, the system brought heavy snow. This prompted the Indian Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment to issue an avalanche warning.

    The advisory warned people not to venture out in avalanche-prone areas in the next 48 hours.

    A collapsed house in the Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province [Hameedullah Khan/Al Jazeera]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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