Torrential rains followed by flash floods have killed at least 77 people in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials and local media said on Wednesday.
Thunderstorms in northern, central and western Indian states late on Tuesday have killed at least 33 people, local media reported.
The most affected state was Madhya Pradesh from where 16 deaths were reported, Chief Minister Kamal Nath confirmed.
Deaths reported in India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anguish over the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains.
“Authorities are monitoring the situation very closely. All possible assistance is being given to those affected,” he tweeted.
In neighbouring Pakistan, rains followed by flash floods have killed 39 and injured dozens in the last two days, officials and local media reported on Wednesday.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority, a state-run agency that coordinates between different relief and rescue organisations, most of the deaths have been reported from northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and southwestern Balochistan provinces.
Also, some 80 houses have been completely or partially damaged in the two provinces, the authority said.
Damages in Pakistan
Heavy rains caused flash floods in parts of KP and Balochistan forcing hundreds of residents to move to safer places, while several cities of northeastern Punjab province also received heavy downpour, local broadcaster Geo News reported.
Footage aired on television showed several vehicles trapped in waist-deep water as rescue workers backed by army troops help them in parts of Balochistan.
The unseasonal rains flanked by gusty winds also downed trees, electricity poles and signboards in several cities apart from causing damage to standing crop of wheat, mainly in Punjab.
Most of the deaths were due to roof collapse and electrocution.
The Met Offices of both countries have forecast more rains in the next 24 to 48 hours as the region is under the grip of a westerly cycle of thunderstorms and gusty winds.
People missing in Afghanistan
Afghan officials said at least five more people have been killed and 17 are missing as a new wave of heavy rains and flooding swept across the country’s western Herat province.
Hamid Mubarez, disaster and humanitarian affairs director in Herat, says the 17 were last heard of while travelling in a van on Monday in the district of Obey.
The country’s disaster ministry says heavy rains and flooding have hit 16 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in the past 24 hours, and that the floods have also destroyed and damaged houses and swept away livestock.
Heavy snowfall across Afghanistan this winter had cut off many areas. So far this year, more than 110 people have died as heavy rains and flooding swept away their homes.