Freak storm kills 45 in Pakistan

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 12:12 GMT, Apr 27, 2015 |

A freak “mini-cyclone” tore roofs of buildings and brought down trees and power poles in Pakistan,  killing 45 people and injuring more than 200, officials said. Army teams were on their way to the worst-hit area of Peshawar city to help with the rescue, a military spokesman said.

Television pictures showed villagers assessing the damage at Pakha Ghulam village on the outskirts of Peshawar as soldiers helped them clear debris from collapsed houses.

“The death toll which has been confirmed until now from all areas is that, 31 people have been killed in Peshawar, 5 in Nowshera and 9 in Charsadda. Hence the total death toll is 45. In Peshawar, 162 people have been reported injured at various hospitals, 25 in Nowshera and 18 in Charsadda. The total number reaches around 200,” the Information Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is capital, told a news conference.

The director general of the Meteorological Office in Peshawar, Mushtaq Shah, said the region has never experienced such a devastating wind storm before.

He said its speed in the open was more than 120 kph and that was what caused destruction on such a large scale.

The wind, accompanied by heavy rain and hail late on Sunday (April 26), disrupted power supplies and telecommunications services and damaged infrastructure and crops, said district official Riaz Mehsud.