Torrential Rains Claim 63 Lives in Pakistan

Torrential rains and lightning strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan have claimed over 130 lives, highlighting the region's vulnerability to climate change. Authorities warn of more heavy rains ahead, underscoring the urgent need to address the growing threat.

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Rizwan Shah
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Torrential Rains Claim 63 Lives in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Torrential Rains Claim 63 Lives in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Torrential rains and lightning strikes have led to at least 63 deaths in Pakistan over the past four days. The heavy downpours have caused flash floods, building collapses, and other rain-related incidents, wreaking havoc across the region.

In Pakistan, the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province reported the highest death toll, with 32 people killed, including 15 children and 5 women, due to collapsing buildings. The eastern province of Punjab saw 21 lightning- and collapse-related deaths, while the southwestern Balochistan province reported 10 fatalities, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency.

The heavy rains have also affected the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. Pakistan's meteorological department attributes the heavier rainfall in April to climate change, with Balochistan seeing 353% more rainfall than normal and a 99% higher rainfall across the country compared to the average.

Why this matters: The severe weather events highlight Pakistan's increasing vulnerability to climate change, as the country experienced devastating monsoon rains in 2022 that submerged a third of its land and caused $30 billion in damages. The recent floods have also caused significant damage in neighboring Afghanistan, affecting thousands of homes, schools, and agricultural land.

In Afghanistan, the death toll has risen to 70, with flash floods damaging 2,000 homes, three mosques, and four schools. Thousands of people have been affected and will require humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.

"The recent rains have exceeded the historical average by 99%, with climate change cited as a major factor behind the unusual weather patterns," said a senior official at the Pakistan Meteorological Department. The National Disaster Management Authority has advised emergency services to remain on high alert as another spell of heavy rains is expected in the coming days.

Key Takeaways

  • Torrential rains and lightning strikes kill 63 in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan reports the highest death toll of 32.
  • Climate change cited as a major factor behind the unusual weather patterns.
  • Severe weather events highlight Pakistan's increasing vulnerability to climate change.
  • Thousands affected in Afghanistan, requiring humanitarian assistance.