Death toll due to heavy rain and windstorms that lashed Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and some other parts of the country on Wednesday night increased to 40 on Thursday.
Walls and roofs of various houses and buildings collapsed while billboards and trees were uprooted due to the thunderstorm. As many as 122 persons were also injured.
Rawalpindi, Islamabad and many parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) witnessed power outages after some pylons fell due to the storm. Electricity could not be restored till Thursday afternoon in some areas of Rawalpindi and Peshawar.
The metro bus service was suspended as its station’s roof damaged near Faizabad and Rawalpindi which was restored on Thursday. The flight operation at Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad was also suspended due to the windstorm.
According to the meteorological office, the wind blew in Rawalpindi at 148 kilometres per hour and in Islamabad at 120 km/hr.
According to details, at least 30 people in various parts of the twin cities, including 19 in Rawalpindi and 11 in Islamabad, were killed in havoc windstorm. In Islamabad, a woman and her two daughters died in Margalla Town, a madrassa student lost his life in Sector F-7 and a man was killed in Bhara Kahu area due to the windstorm. In Sectors G-7 and F-7 of Islamabad, the traffic was badly affected and trees fell on the roads. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) started clearing work the next morning.
In Dhoke Hassu area of Rawalpindi, 20-year-old Kanwal and her 18-year-old brother Majid died in a wall collapse while their mother Sultana sustained injuries. Azhar Mahmood of Banni area also lost his life.
In KP and tribal areas, at least seven people were killed and over 40 were wounded due to windstorm.
A young woman Sidra and her six-month-old baby Ahmad died in rain-related incidents in Musazai village of Peshawar. Two members of the same family, Ambreen and Nosheen, were wounded and shifted to hospital.
Rescue 1122 spokesman Bilal Ahmad Faizi said, “A mother and her child were killed in Musazai, Peshawar, while two others in the family sustained injuries when the roof of their house caved in. Another person was killed in Nowshera while one died in Charsadda.”
He added that as many as 23 people sustained injuries in various rain and storm-related incidents in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera.
An emergency was declared in all the city hospitals while Rescue 1122 ambulances rushed the wounded for treatment.
In Jamrud Tehsil of Khyber Agency, a woman was killed and three others were wounded while a man died in Bara Tehsil. Reportedly, one person died in Kohat and a minor died on the Kohat road. A large number of hoardings and trees also fell to the ground due to the powerful storm.
One person identified as Bakht Jan was killed in a wall collapse incident in Sadda, Kurram Agency.
In Nowshera, one person was killed and several others were injured in house collapse incidents. A man identified as Ihsan Ali was killed when a tree fell on him in Misri Banda. The Grand Trunk Road was closed for traffic after signboards, trees and electricity poles were uprooted which blocked the road.
According to sources, the boundary walls of several houses in Nowshera Kalan, Risalpur and Mera Jalozai collapsed, leaving several people injured. The injured were shifted to District Headquarters and other hospitals for treatment. There were reports of damage to the crops in different areas of Pabbi Tehsil of Nowshera District. Hailstorm severely damaged the standing crops and fruit orchards spreading on large swathes of land in South Waziristan.
According to local sources, this hailstorm broke a 30-year-old record. It also uprooted the solar systems the tribesmen had installed to generate power to run the tube wells.
According to the reports received from various parts of the tribal region, the most affected areas were Karikot, Landi Doog, Waja Ghundai, Sherna, Sekach, Tala Bani, Laman, Dubkot, Tanai, Warsak, Wacha Khwar and Greendana.