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A displaced girl waits for assistance in her tent at a makeshift camp after fleeing from her flood hit home following heavy rains in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on April 17, 2024. Photo: AFP

Heavy downpours, lightning kill 65 in Pakistan

PAKISTAN, April 17: At least 65 people have perished in storm-related incidents in Pakistan, with April rainfall at nearly twice of the average rate.

Heavy downpours between Friday and Monday unleashed flash floods and caused houses to collapse, while lightning killed at least 28 people.

Pakistan officials said the largest death toll was in Northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 32 people have died, including 15 children.

“All the casualties resulted from the collapse of walls and roofs,” as reported by the spokesman for the province’s disaster management authority, Anwar Khan to AFP on Wednesday.

Villagers, whose homes were submerged in water, were compelled to seek refuge on elevated terrain, including the shoulders of motorways.

They improvised shelters using plastic sheeting and bamboo sticks to create makeshift tents.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorlogical Department spokesperson Zaheer Ahmad Babar said that in April, the organisation have observed highly unusual rainfall patterns.

“From April 1st to April 17th, we experienced precipitation levels exceeding the historical average by 99 percent.”

“Climate change is a major factor behind these unusual weather patterns and above normal rainfalls, but it’s not just Pakistan which is affected, the whole region is experiencing changes in temperature patterns,” added Zaheer, comparing to the past 30 years worth of data.

Most parts of the country saw a respite from rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, but forecasts predict further downpours in the days ahead.

Pakistan faces growing vulnerability to erratic weather patterns, including the frequently devastating monsoon rains typically arriving in July.-TVS

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