5 dead, dozens hurt as dust storm whips Pakistan

April 16 (UPI) — Five people were dead and dozens more were injured as a dust storm whipped through Pakistan’s most populous city, authorities said.

The dust storm hit Karachi in the early hours Monday, uprooting trees, hydro poles and shattering windows of high-rise buildings, Pakistan’s Dawn reported.

Among the dead were two young girls, one of whom was killed when the roof of a house collapsed while the other died when a felled tree landed on her, Pakistan Today reported.

Seemin Jamali, executive director of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center in Karachi, said the hospital received more than 58 people including at least 11 school children suffering from injuries, most of which were sustained when concrete structures collapsed on top of them.

Pakistan Meteorological Department Director Sardar Sarfaraz said the dust storm had winds of 40 mph.

Dust storms can cause poor visibility, making travel conditions dangerous, the Aga Khan Health Board for Pakistan said in a health advisory Monday, adding that they also reduce air quality putting society’s most vulnerable at risks.

Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency said it is still searching for four members of a nine-member fishing boat after rescuing five of them earlier.

The Sindh provincial Cheif Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah gave direction to district commissioners to care of vulnerable residents as more dust storms are predicted until mid-week.

The capital city was expecting to be blasted again on Tuesday while central Pakistan and northwest India may also be subjected to the violent weather until Wednesday, AccuWeather reported.

The storm Monday follows days of intermittent downpours throughout much of Pakistan, which ruined mud houses and wrecked roads as mudslides and flash floods made them impassable.

Nine people were killed in Punjab due to the thunderstorms and at least 25 people were killed by the extreme weather over the past few days.

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