At least 45 people were killed and more than 200 injured in a storm that lashed Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhutunkhwa province on Sunday, officials said. Most of the dead were in Peshawar, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani. “Strong winds and heavy showers struck the city … destroying dozens of homes, buildings and walls, uprooting trees and power installations in parts of Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshehra,” Ghani told ucanews.com. “We have declared an emergency at all government-run hospitals of affected cities,” Ghani said. He said rescue teams were struggling to reach affected areas because uprooted trees and fallen billboards were blocking roads.
“Thirty people were killed in Peshawar, 10 in Charsadda and five in Nowshehra district,” Dr Asad Ali Khan, Director General Rescue-1122, told ucanews.com. He said that more than 150 of the injured were taken to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar alone. Collapsing rooftops, trees and houses, caused most of the deaths. In Peshawar, a family of four were killed when the roof of their house caved in, while Ali Askar, a professor at Peshawar University, died after a tree fell on his car on a motorway, said Dilnawaz Wazir, a senior Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) official. Other PDMA officials said winds in excess of 110 kilometers per hour had caused much of the devastation. The army’s chief spokesman Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa said rescue teams were dispatched to affected areas to assist civil administration. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of life. He directed the PDMA and provincial officials to provide relief and shelter to affected people. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday also expressed his regret over the loss of life. The Prime Minister, who is on a visit to London, extended his condolences to the families of the dead, a statement by his office said.
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