Heavy rains have swept through Pakistan’s northwest, causing several houses to collapse and leaving at least 20 people dead and 80 injured, authorities said.
Rains and hail hit the Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Karak districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, senior rescue officer Khateer Ahmed said on Saturday, uprooting trees and knocking down electrical transmission towers.
Officials were working to provide emergency relief to the injured, Ahmed said.
Last year, monsoon rains and flooding devastated Pakistan, killing more than 1,700 people and affecting around 33 million people, displacing nearly 8 million.
To mitigate the effects of natural disasters, the government in its national budget draft presented on Friday allocated $1.3 billion for climate resilience.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday expressed grief over the loss of life loss from the storm and directed authorities to pick up the pace of the relief operation.
Meanwhile, Sharif ordered officials to put in place emergency measures in advance of the approaching Cyclone Biparjoy in the Arabia Sea.
The “severe and intense” cyclone with wind speeds of 150 kilometres per hour (93 miles per hour) was on a course toward the country’s south, Pakistan's disaster management agency said.