Nine die as rains hit Pakistan, Afghanistan

KARACHI, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Heavy rains and violent winds lashed Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday, killing at least nine people, including four children, and injuring more than 70, officials and rescue workers said.

Three children drowned when they were swept away by flood waters in the Takhta Pul area near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, local security official Mohammad Afza said. The rains also closed the main road linking the city and the Pakistani border.

Pakistani officials said three people had died in two separate accidents on the outskirts of the southern port city of Karachi when the roofs of their houses caved in.

Heavy rain and wind ripped the roofs off scores of huts built of straw, mud and wooden planks in two villages 30 km to 50 km (18 miles to 30 miles) north of Karachi, injuring more than 40 people, they added.

One girl was killed and four of her family members injured when their house collapsed in the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir region, police said.

In Hyderabad, 160 km (100 miles) north of Karachi, two people were killed and at least 30 were injured when houses collapsed and several areas were submerged in flood waters.

"We have declared an emergency in Hyderabad, where 80 percent of the neighbourhoods are inundated," said Mayor Makhdoom Rafique-uz Zaman.

"Education institutions have been closed for three days and relief work is in full swing," he said.

Heavy rains have also hit the capital, Islamabad, in the north and Quetta in the east for the past two days.


Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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