By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Torrential pre-monsoon rains -- accompanied by gusty winds and dust-storms -- killed at least 15 people and injured scores of others in northern Pakistan late Wednesday night, according to local police and health officials.
Over half of the casualties were reported in capital Islamabad, which was broadsided by a massive dust-storm that killed eight people and left more than 80 injured.
The storm uprooted trees and electricity polls and blew away giant billboards that slammed into vehicles and homes in several parts of Islamabad and the adjoining Rawalpindi district.
Other casualties were reported in Peshawar, regional capital of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province, and the adjacent Khyber Agency, Mardan, Malakand and Noshera districts.
Over 50 others, meanwhile, were reportedly injured in rain-related accidents, particularly roof collapses.
Unseasonal rains this year, which some observers attribute to climate change, have already killed hundreds across Pakistan.
Wide-scale deforestation and urban sprawl are also seen by some as leading factors behind recent extreme weather patterns.