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More than 100 killed as slow-moving storm hits Afghanistan, Pakistan and India


More than 100 people have been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India over the past 2 days after a slow-moving storm hit the region, dumping heavy rain and causing severe dust storms. The death toll is expected to rise.

Several states in central, northern and western India were hit by severe thunderstorms on April 16, killing at least 50 people. The worst affected was Rajasthan with 25 deaths reported by late Wednesday afternoon, April 17.

Meteorologists said heavy rain is expected to continue affecting the state over the next 24 hours and issued a high alert for numerous districts, including Jalore, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Pali, Kota, Jhalawar, Baran, Dausa and Alwar.

The Times of Idia reported many incidents of wall collapses and uprooted trees, electric and telephone cables.

Heavy rains in neighboring Pakistan killed at least 39 people and injured dozens on April 15 and 16. Most deaths were caused by roof collapse and electrocution.

The worst affected were Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and southwestern Balochistan, National Disaster Management Authority said.

Provincial minister for disaster management said over 2 000 houses and a huge quantity of standing wheat crop were damaged due to heavy rains in Punjab.

The worst of the storm took place in Karachi on Sunday night, April 14 into April 15 when an intense dust storm hit the city. The wind was so strong it ripped off tin walls and downed trees and power poles, cutting off electricity in some areas.

Near-zero visibility caused traffic chaos and accidents. Numerous flights were canceled or delayed at Jinnah International Airport.

The unseasonal rains flanked by gusty winds also downed trees, electricity poles and signboards in several cities apart from causing damage to standing crop of wheat, mainly in Punjab, according to Anadolu.

Heavy rain also affected 22 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces over the past 2 days, authorities said late Wednesday, April 17. The death toll rose from 5 early Wednesday morning to at least 15 by late afternoon. Several people are still missing.

The worst affected was Herat Province and its districts of Obey, Kohsan, Karrokh, Shindand and Guzara.

At least 11 people were killed and 266 homes washed away in eastern Nangarhar province alone, Pajhwok reported late Wednesday.

Heavy rain and floods affecting the country since late February/early March have so far claimed 134 lives and destroyed thousands of homes.

More heavy rain is expected across the region in the days ahead. Take a look at SE China; take care if you live there or plan traveling there.

Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired April 16, 2019

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