A freak “mini-cyclone” tore roofs of buildings and brought down trees and power poles in Pakistan, killing 45 people and injuring more than 200, officials said on Monday.
Army teams were on their way to the area of Peshawar city to help with the rescue, a military spokesman said.
“We’ve never experienced such a devastating wind storm before in this region,” said Mushtaq Shah, director general of the Meteorological Office in Peshawar.
“Its speed in the open was more than 120 kph (75 mph) and that’s what caused destruction on such a large scale. It’s a completely new phenomenon in this region.”
The wind, accompanied by heavy rain and hail late on Sunday, disrupted power supplies and telecommunications services and damaged infrastructure and crops, said district official Riaz Mehsud.
The injured overwhelmed Peshawar’s main Lady Reading Hospital, a spokesman said.
Heavy weather on Monday forced the Pakistani military to cancel two flights to Nepal taking supplies to survivors of Saturday’s earthquake. They were rescheduled to Tuesday.