The Thar Desert is a large arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. File picture: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters
The Thar Desert is a large arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. File picture: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

At least 27 killed as lightning, rain hits Pakistani desert after long drought

By DPA Time of article published Nov 15, 2019

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Islamabad - At least 27 people were killed when lighting struck

in several places in Pakistan's southern desert region amid heavy

rains, officials said on Friday.

Local authorities declared an emergency and rushed rescuers to the

Thar Desert in the province of Sindh after the overnight tragedy,

Saeed Ghani, the provincial government's spokesman Saeed Ghani said.

Several dozen people including women and children were being treated

at hospitals, Ghani added. They sustained injuries caused by

lightning and falling structures due to the rain.

At least three districts including Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur

were hit by heavy rains from Thursday evening that continued into

Friday, local rescue official Aslam Chandio said.

The death toll might increase as information was pouring in from

remote villages still inaccessible for rescuers, said Anwar Kazmi,

spokesman for Edhi charity that works in the region.

Flash floods, land erosion, cloudbursts, droughts and smog resulting

in low air quality have been on the rise in Pakistan in recent years.

Sandwiched between highly industrialised China and India, Pakistan

would have to bear the brunt of the global warming, climate expert

Chaudhry Qamar Zaman said.

"Both the state and people will have to realise the gravity of the

problem and act swiftly," Zaman added.

dpa

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