49 killed in rain-triggered accidents in Pakistan

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Islamabad, April 3 (IANS) At least 49 people were killed and dozens injured in separate rain-related accidents in Pakistan’s north Gilgit Baltistan area, northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and northeast Kashmir area over the last 24 hours, local media and officials said Sunday.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said 37 people were killed and 27 others injured in the province as heavy rains caused more than 49 incidents of house collapse and several incidents of landslides.

Over 70 shops near the provincial capital of Peshawar were washed away due to flooding in the city’s Bara river, while several others were partially damaged.

A number of bridges and roads were also swept away by flood water in different parts of the province, disrupting road traffic.

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The torrential rains and hailstorm in various areas of the province also caused serious losses to orchards and other standing crops.

At least four people were killed and a dozen others injured when the torrential rains lashed the Gilgit Baltistan area, the Radio Pakistan said.

The report said that a house collapsed due to heavy rains in Diamer district of the Gilgit Baltistan area, killing four members of a family.

The rains also triggered heavy landslides which blocked Karakorum Highway between Gilgit and Chilas from various places, stranding hundreds of passengers on the road.

Separately, in Kashmir area eight members of a family were killed when their house collapsed due to a landslide.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the accidents and directed the National Disaster Management Authority and other concerned authorities to ensure timely relief activities for the victims, including provision of proper medical care, food and shelter for the affected, a press release from the PM Office said.

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Local met office said widespread rain-thundershower, accompanied by strong gusty winds with isolated heavy falls, were likely to persist in the western and upper parts of the country for the next 24 hours.

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