Rains and snowfall wreck havoc in north Pak, 40 killed

At least 40 people were killed as heavy rains and snowfall wreaked havoc in the northern parts of Pakistan, snapping road links and forcing people to remain indoors at many places.

Most of the deaths occurred in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal areas in the northwest after two days of heavy rain, media reports said on Wednesday.

Deaths were also reported in Rawalpindi, Okara in central Punjab province and Balochistan province in the southwest.

Dozens were injured as walls and roofs of homes collapsed after heavy rain.

Rescue teams in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa faced difficulties as several key roads were blocked.

Three persons were killed by an avalanche at Shangla in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Five persons, including two women and as many children, were drowned in a swollen stream in Haripur on the outskirts of Islamabad.

Three security personnel were buried by an avalanche that hit a check post in Upper Dir district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, media reports said.

The National Disaster Management Authority confirmed only 24 deaths though officials said they feared the toll could rise.

The officials also said rains damaged property in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Punjab.

The Mohmand, Khyber and Bajaur tribal regions and other mountainous regions near the Afghan border witnessed snowfall.

Five men were killed and three more injured in Khyber Agency, officials said.

The heavy rains disrupted life at many places, including the federal capital of Islamabad and nearby Rawalpindi, where many streets were flooded after two days of continuous rain.

Officials of the Meteorological Department said the intense weather system that had resulted in snowfall and heavy rains for three consecutive days had begun losing its strength.

They said the rains had recharged nearly dry rivers in eastern Pakistan.

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