Photo used for illustrative purposes only.
Gulf Today Report
At least 14 people, including women and children, died and another three injured on Sunday when lightning struck two houses in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.
The incident took place in Torghar district of Hazara division, where torrential monsoon rains and landslides have caused havoc since Wednesday.
Authorities in the city of Abbottabad said a mudslide in the suburbs also killed a couple and their child, and injured three others.
"At least 14 people from the same extended family were killed after lightning struck two adjoined houses," said KP’s Chief Minister spokesman Kamran Bangash.
Several roads have been washed away due to the flooding caused by the rain, hampering relief efforts.
Police officer Mohammad Nawaz said eleven bodies were recovered from the debris of mud and brick houses in the Torghar district, and rescuers were searching for the remaining victims, which included women and children.
Nawaz said three adjacent homes were completely swept away in remote village of the district, while other houses were less affected.
"At least 14 people from the same extended family were killed after lightning struck two adjoined houses," said KP’s Chief Minister spokesman Kamran Bangash. The dead included five children and four women, Bangash added.
A majority of the casualties occurred when lightning struck a trio of houses located in a remote area named Jhatka within Judba tehsil in Torghar district, according to the region's Assistant Commissioner Azhar Zahoor.
The houses collapsed after being hit by lightning, burying 13 people under their rubble, he said. A dozen dead bodies have been recovered from the debris so far as rescue work remains ongoing.
“I am personally supervising the rescue operation and the injured have been moved to the hospital and roads are also cleared for traffic. The affected families will be facilitated, and tents and foods will be provided to them,” the assistant commissioner said.
Meanwhile, the roof of a house collapsed in Abbottabad's Kakul area and buried seven members of a family underneath its rubble. Three bodies have been recovered and two injured retrieved from the debris as the rescue operation continues.
Around 215 people — farmers, rural labourers and cattle graziers — have now died from strikes in the country's poorest state since late March, authorities said.
The monsoon rains that wreaked havoc in the country resulted in the deaths of 304 people, including 118 children and damaged 8,889 houses, according to the NDMA.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its sincere condolences and sympathies to the Pakistani government and people and to the families of the victims, as well as its wishes for a speedy recovery to all the injured.
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