27 people have been confirmed dead after lightning struck amid heavy rains overnight in various locations in Pakistan's southern desert region.
Saeed Ghani, the provincial government spokesman who confirmed the incident said a state of emergency was declared by authorities as rescue teams rushed to the Thar Desert in the province of Sindh.
A spokesman for the Edhi charity, Anwar Kazmi told newsmen that the death toll is expected to rise as rescuers reached remote villages.
Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that hundreds of animals were killed by the lightning strikes and the fire that ensued, as it was further gathered that some villagers including women and children were being treated at hospitals after sustaining injuries caused by lightning and falling structures caused by the rain.
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had said in a statement on Thursday evening that a westerly wave is affecting lower parts of the country which can continue till Saturday.