At least 27 people were killed when lightning struck amid heavy rains overnight in various locations in Pakistan's southern desert region, officials said on November 15.
A state of emergency was declared by authorities as rescue teams rushed to the Thar Desert in the province of Sindh, said Saeed Ghani, a spokesman for the provincial government.
Dozens of people, including many women and children, were being treated at hospitals after sustaining injuries caused by lightning and falling structures caused by the rain, Ghani said.
The death toll was expected to rise as rescuers reached remote villages, said Anwar Kazmi, a spokesman for the Edhi charity, which operates in the region.
Hundreds of animals have reportedly perished in the lightning strikes and the fire that followed in the affected areas, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.