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Rain, snowfall wreak havoc in Pakistan, claim 14 lives in Balochistan

Islamabad: Heavy snowfall and incessant rain have left at least 14 people, including women and children, dead and over a dozen injured in several parts of Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province, a media report said on Monday.

The inclement weather has affected road and air traffic and cut-off Balochistan with the rest of the world.

Continuous snowfall in the provincial capital Quetta has led to the collapse of a large number of mud houses, claiming lives in the border towns of Chaman, Barshor and Bostan area of Pishin district.

Six people, including three women and as many children, died and two others were injured when the roof of their house collapsed in Shahabzai area of Zhob district due to heavy snowfall, the Dawn newspaper reported.

In Killi Luqman area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman, five members of a family, including women and children, died and six others were injured when the roof of their mud house collapsed during an engagement ceremony late on Sunday.

Two children died and as many suffered injuries when the roof of their room caved-in in Killi Chukal area of Pishin district, while another woman lost her life in a similar incident, the report quoted Met officials as saying.

Sources in Civil Hospital Quetta said that over a dozen people injured in snowfall-related accidents were brought to the hospital for treatment.

The Met officials said the heavy snowfall in Quetta had already broken the 20-year-old record. "In Qilla Saifullah, the Met Office recorded three to four feet snow, which was more than double the usual 1.5 feet snow," said Chief Meteo rologist Azmat Hayat Khan.

An aircraft that had arrived from Saudi Arabia with passengers on Saturday night could not fly back, as Quetta airport runway remained covered with heavy snow, sources said.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded on different highways linking Balochistan.

Official said traffic was also suspended at Quetta-Chaman highway as the Khozak-Pass linking Pakistan with Afghanistan also received heavy snowfall, bringing to halt the Afghan transit trade with hundreds of trucks and other goods vehicles remaining standard on both sides of the border.

"Several people with their vehicles are still waiting for help but unfortunately those areas cannot be reached without helicopter. I have made a request for provision of the helicopter to the provincial disaster management authority. Hopefully, it would be provided to us as soon as possible," said Chagai Deputy Commissioner Fateh Khan

Khajjak.

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