A file picture shows people wading through a flooded area following heavy rains in Sanghar, Pakistan, 23 August 2022. EFE-EPA/FILE/REHAN KHAN

Heavy rains kill at least 16 in Pakistan

Islamabad, June 27 (EFE).- Pre-monsoon heavy rains have resulted in at least 16 deaths in Pakistan, according to an official on Tuesday, as the country braces for further downpours in the coming days.

Thirteen people were killed in Punjab, two in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and one in Balochistan provinces, with at least 32 people injured.

“There were 15 incidents of lightning strikes and roof collapses in Punjab in which 13 people were killed and 23 were injured,” Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesperson Tassawur Chaudhry told EFE.

Chaudhry further stated that 17 of the injured are in critical condition. The reported deaths occurred on Sunday and Monday

However, according to the Rescue 1122 service in Punjab, the death toll is 20, with 82 injured.

“A total of 20 people died and 82 others were injured in electrocution, drowning and lightning in the province,” Rescue 1122 service spokesperson Farooq Ahmed told EFE.

The Punjab PDMA spokesperson assured that machinery and staff are on high alert to manage the emergency in the province.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, taking note of urban flooding in the provincial headquarters in Lahore, ordered immediate action to drain the rainwater.

He also issued instructions for safety measures and arrangements in other areas of the country.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department predicts further rain in Punjab on Tuesday.

The pre-monsoon rains arrived after an intense heatwave hit parts of the country last week.

During the heatwave, which began to subside on June 25, temperatures in Pakistan neared 50 degrees Celsius.

The government has cautioned that rising temperatures are causing rapid melting of glaciers in the north.

Pakistan is home to more than 7,000 glaciers, the highest number outside the North and South Poles, making it one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change resulting from global warming. EFE