Torrential rain killed at least 25 people, most of them children, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bannu, Karak, and Lakki Marwar districts on Saturday, rescue officials said. At least 145 were injured.
They were killed in different rain related incidents, including roof and wall collapses. Many residents in the southern district of the province complained of disruption of electricity service.
Rescue officials feared that the death count might further increase as at least 50 people were so far reported to be injured in Bannu.
Footage showed that many people thronged the Accident and Emergency Department in the district as affected people brought casualties on charpoy to the infirmary.
The affected people would be provided relief after the district administration estimates the cost of losses, according to the provincial Information Department.
At least 15 people were killed and 50 injured in Bannu in different rain related incidents, said rescue officials, according to updates by 8pm.
A local journalist also shared pictures of Bannu on Twitter.
Two sons of a man named Maqbool died after a wall collapsed in the Sirak Banda area of Takht Nusrati Tehsil due to heavy rain and strong winds in Karak.
In the remote area of Menakhel, a roof collapse killed a child. The age of three children was between five to seven years, while in Wrana, a person identified as Sher also died due to the wall collapse.
“We do not have the resources to provide immediate relief to the affected families, but the provincial government will be contacted for their assistance,” said PDMA Assistant Commissioner Younis.
At least five people were killed and 42 injured in Lakki Marwat’s Sarah Norang area, which is adjacent to Bannu, said Tehsil Headquarters Hospital MS Azad Khan.
Torrential rains have wreaked havoc across the district, rescue sources say that reports of walls and roofs collapsing have been received from different areas.
The spokesperson of Rescue 1122 said that serious patients were shifted to Bannu.
Pakistan Army begins rescue operation
The rescue teams of the Pakistan Army have started reaching the affected areas, said official sources. The district administration has imposed emergency in hospitals.
Due to the wind and storm, the electricity system was disrupted across the district, and hundreds of trees were uprooted by the storm.
PM Shehbaz, President Alvi grieved
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in rains in different areas of KP. He directed the National Disaster Management Authority to ensure steps for relief and rehabilitation in the affected areas.
He also called for coordination with the chief minister of KP.
PM Shehbaz asked the NDMA to work together with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority and Rescue 1122 to ensure complete assistance to the public in affected areas.
President Arif Alvi also grieved over the loss of lives and property during the rainstorms in different districts of KP. He condoled with the bereaved families and sympathised with the affectees.
‘Chances of dust storms’
The Met Office forecast, shared by the PDMA on Saturday evening, predicted “very hot and dry weather” in most districts of KP over the next 24 hours.
“But there were chances of wind/dust storms and isolated rain-thunderstorm in most plain areas of the province in the evening and at night,” said the statement.
It added that isolated spells of rain and wind/thunderstorms were expected in Chitral, Lower and Upper Dir, Buner, Swat, Shangla, Kohistan, Torghar, Battagram, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram and Waziristan districts in the evening and at night.
Wind/dust storms may cause damage to loose infrastructure in Kurram, Hangu, Orakzai, North and South Waziristan, Tank, Kohat, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Charsadda, Peshawar, Khyber and Nowshera districts.
“All concerned authorities are advised to remain alert during the forecast period,” it said.
Showers in Punjab
On the other hand, rain and strong winds were reported in Punjab, Islamabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, and Gujrat.
Wasa MD Gufran Ahmed instructed the staff to be alert. All staff and machinery should be fully alert and all generators should be kept on standby and active, he said.