Cyclone Phet slated to hit Pak’s coast: Report
At least 37 people were killed and dozens more were injured when heavy thunderstorms hit Pakistan`s Punjab province, media reports Saturday said.
Islamabad: At least 37 people were killed and dozens more were injured when heavy thunderstorms hit Pakistan`s Punjab province, media reports Saturday said.
Lahore was the worst hit, with 11 people, including six children, killed in the provincial capital. Seven people were killed and 60 injured in the neighbouring district of Sheikhupura. Nineteen deaths occurred in other districts of Punjab.
Most of the casualties were caused by falling roofs or walls and road accidents. Winds with a speed of 93 km per hour uprooted trees and destroyed power lines, cutting the power supply for hours in Punjab, The News reported.
The deaths occurred as the country`s southern coastal belt was preparing for Cyclone Phet to make landfall after hitting the coast of Oman Friday.
The cyclone was expected to make landfall Sunday near the commercial hub of Karachi and in the nearby province of Balochistan with "maximum sustained winds of 100 to 120 km per hour," Pakistan`s Meteorological Department said.
The storm has already started to create havoc in Balochistan, which saw 133 mm of rainfall during the last 24 hours and flooding in some areas, the department reported Saturday.
Authorities are evacuating tens of thousands of people to safe areas and the country`s army and navy have been put on alert.
Phet, already weakened from earlier this week, was positioned about 200 km north-east of Oman`s coastal city of Sur and 650 km south-west of Karachi, the Indian Meteorological Department said in a Saturday morning bulletin.
"Available observations and numerical weather prediction models guidance suggest that the system would weaken further and move east-north-eastward towards Pakistan coast," the IMD bulletin said.