Lightning kills 15 in Punjab, Balochistan amid heavy downpours

Published April 13, 2024
Rainfall in Quetta on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
Rainfall in Quetta on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

Lightning strikes killed 15 people in Punjab and Balochistan on Saturday amid heavy rainfall and downpours, according to weather updates from their respective Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

Thirteen people were killed in Punjab while the death toll in Balochistan rose to five with two more deaths. One man and two children were killed in lightning strikes a day ago as rainfall lashed parts of Balochistan.

A statement from the Punjab PDMA spokesperson said Director General Irfan Ali Kathia contacted the deputy commissioners of the affected districts and gave guidelines to give the best medical care to the injured while financial assistance would be provided to the families of the deceased.

“Combating natural calamities is only possible with joint and mutual cooperation,” DG Kathia was quoted as saying in the statement, adding that all organisations and departments were on alert and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz had given clear instructions that negligence or irresponsibility would not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Provincial Emergency Operations Centre In-charge Younus Mengal told Dawn.com that two more deaths due to lightning were reported in Dera Bugti today while another person was injured in the Surab area of Kalat district.

A PDMA update said 10 to 15 houses were partially damaged due to flooding from torrential rails in the Hamidabad area of Pishin, adding that the affected people were evacuated and moved to safer places.

Two rescue teams along with machinery were engaged in rescue activities to tackle the flood situation in Pishin, it said.

The PDMA said a death from a roof collapse was also reported in Loralai with a total of six deaths reported in the province till now.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti visited the PDMA Control Room earlier today and said he was monitoring the relief and rescue operations amid the rains himself.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi expressed regret over the deaths and extended his condolences to the affected families.

KP

An update from the KP PDMA said one person was killed and two were injured in Lower Chitral due to houses collapsing from heavy rain with one house being completely destroyed while four were partially damaged.

It said roads were blocked at multiple locations and restoration operations were under way.

Sindh

Separately, Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah instructed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), towns and water boards to complete the arrangements in their respective areas in light of the recent forecast of heavy rains, Sindh CM spokesperson Rasheed Channa said in a statement.

CM Shah has instructed all civic agencies to keep rain drains and drainage systems clean, Channa said.

“District administration and the Police should look after the people and help them in any difficulty,” he said, adding that the CM directed the PDMA to coordinate with all civic agencies.

“People, especially the children, should not go out of their houses because of torrential rains,” the CM said according to Channa.

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