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Severe weather hits Pakistan leaving at least 20 people dead


The same storm that hit the United Arab Emirates and Oman on March 9 wreaked havoc across Pakistan over the past two days. Torrential rains accompanied by flash floods have killed at least 20 people in country's north and southwest, officials said today.

Most of the deaths occurred in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the southwestern Balochistan provinces, where heavy rainfall and flash flooding have isolated entire villages, damaged roads and caused homes to collapse, media reported. Local Capital TV stated that the torrential rain coupled with high winds uprooted trees and electricity towers in affected areas, causing wide-ranging power outages.

"Local television channels showed gushing rainwater inundating homes, with residents taking refuge on rooftops, in Quetta, Zhob, Taank, Pishin, Loralai, Chaman, Chagai, Mastung and other districts. Accompanied by thunder and hailstorms, heavy rainfall caused several homes to collapse in the Mastung, Khyber, Chagai and Zhob districts, killing 12 people and injuring scores of others. Dozens of mud homes have been entirely washed away by surging flashfloods," the Anadolu Agency stated.

A spokesperson for Pakistan's Met Office said that the highest rainfall of 128 mm (5 inches) has been recorded in Malam Jabba followed by 69 mm (2.71 inches) in Murree. 

He warned the present rain spell will persist until Monday morning while another spell is expected to start on Wednesday, March 16.

Image credit: NASA/JAXA GPM / Google

The system has also brought heavy to extremely heavy rain and snow to Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Skymet Weather reported. "With these inclement weather conditions likely to prevail, the threat of landslide and flash floods are looming large over these states."

"The weather system is presently marked over Jammu and Kashmir and will continue to pound heavy showers over the region till March 13. Weather activity is likely to reduce March 14 onwards as the systems clears the region, moving further eastwards. We can expect some relief on March 15 and 16. Thereafter another Western Disturbance will start affecting Western Himalayas. This will also bring back the spell of rain and snow that is expected to continue till March 20," Skymet said.

Featured image: NASA/Aqua MODIS acquired March 12, 2016.


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