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Heavy rains, intense snowfall in Pakistan leave 29 dead

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NEW DELHI: Pakistani authorities informed that atleast 29 people lost their lives, with 50 others sustaining injuries as a result of substantial rainfall over the past 48 hours. The widespread downpour led to the collapse of numerous houses and triggered landslides, primarily affecting the northwest region. Simultaneously, Pakistan is also grappling with an intense spell of snowfall.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistan, recorded approximately 23 rain-related fatalities since Thursday night, as disclosed by the provincial disaster management authority.

Additionally, in the southwestern Baluchistan province, five succumbed to the flooding in the coastal town of Gwadar, necessitating the use of boats for evacuations.
Casualties and damages were also reported in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, according to a statement from the National Disaster Management Authority.
Emergency relief efforts are underway in the affected regions, with heavy machinery deployed to clear debris obstructing highways, as per the agency's announcement.

The spokesperson for the northern Gilgit Baltistan region, Faizullah Faraq, revealed that sections of the Karakoram Highway connecting Pakistan with China remain inaccessible due to landslides.
Authorities have cautioned against tourist travel to the picturesque north. This advisory follows instances of visitors being stranded last week due to the relentless heavy rains.
This year, Pakistan is experiencing an unusual delay in winter rains, commencing in February instead of the typical November onset.

Monsoon and winter rains routinely inflict damage in Pakistan. The country faced devastating consequences from climate-induced abnormal monsoon rains and flooding in 2022, resulting in over 1,739 fatalities, impacting approximately 33 million people, and displacing nearly 8 million. The 2022 rains and floods also incurred billions of dollars in damages to the country's economy, leaving some individuals who lost their homes residing in makeshift shelters.
(With AP inputs)

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