Death toll from Pakistan flash floods, rains rises to 26

Officials say 26 people have died across Pakistan, while winter storm also affected northern India and Afghanistan.

    The winter storm also affected northern India, which saw very heavy rain [Narinder Nanu/AFP]
    The winter storm also affected northern India, which saw very heavy rain [Narinder Nanu/AFP]

    A winter storm has lashed Pakistan, causing torrential rains and flash floods.

    At least 26 people have been killed in flash floods in several Pakistani cities, AP news agency reported on Thursday, citing Pakistani authorities.

    The provincial Disaster Management Authority said 14 people, including children, were killed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

    Flash floods submerged villages near the southwestern town of Lasbella, killing three people there and affecting nearly 200 families.

    In central Pakistan, nine people were killed in three incidents of roof collapse amid heavy rains. Four of them died in the city of Multan.

    Imran Zarqoon, a spokesman for the provincial disaster authority, said emergency workers were trying to rescue people from flooded parts of Lasbella in Balochistan province.

    The rain hit almost the entire country, at a time of year which is normally quite dry in the southern provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.

    In many towns the rain brought far more wet weather than is usually seen in the entire month of February.

    Local media reported that a 'flood emergency' was declared in Lasbella on Thursday, which calls for the army to provide assistance, after 40 millimetres of rain fell in two days, well above the February average of 11.7mm.

    The winter storm also brought heavy rain and snow to neighbouring Afghanistan and other parts of Pakistan.

    While the winter snow and rain brought the much-needed relief to Afghanistan as the country has been in the grip of a severe drought, the extreme weather disrupted normal life in Pakistan and neighbouring India.

    The wet weather will gradually ease by Friday, although showers are still expected in northern India and parts of Pakistan.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies