Dozens die as storm sweeps across Pakistan



Days of torrential rain triggered a widespread flooding in Pakistan, killing at least 49 people.

The southwest province of Balochistan was hit first by the rains, and suffered some of the worst damage.

At least 18 people were killed in the province, and there were also deaths in the northwestern tribal region, the eastern province of Punjab and the northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunhwa.

The majority of those who died were killed when their houses collapsed on them, officials said. Seven mine workers also died when a coal mine collapsed in Orakzai tribal region.

The rain that swept across Pakistan was from the same weather system that brought storms to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday last week.

After forcing the closure of schools and businesses across the Emirates, as well as Abu Dhabi airport, the storms moved east.

The severe weather crossed southeastern Iran and into Pakistan. The rain started in the Balochistan province last Thursday, before spreading to the rest of the country.

Islamabad reported 70mm of rain in just one day, which is nearly the average for the entire month of March.

The neighbouring countries of Afghanistan and northern India were also hit by the storms, with hail decimating crops in northern India’s Haryana state, the country’s primary wheat bowl. 

In the mountainous regions of northern India, the system brought heavy snow. This prompted the Indian Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment to issue an avalanche warning.

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