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230 die as rains destroy buildings

Story Highlights

• 230 dead after rains collapsed buildings and downed power lines in Pakistan
• Search for survivors continuing in badly-affected city of Karachi
• Angry mobs staged demonstrations after 24-hour power blackouts
From CNN's Syed Mohsin Naqvi
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LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani officials Sunday continued to search for survivors a day after heavy rains collapsed buildings and brought down power lines in Karachi, killing more than 230 people, provincial health and police officials said.

The storm cut electricity to most of Karachi's 13 million residents, compounding the heat from temperatures that have soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C) in recent days.

Angry mobs Sunday staged demonstrations, blocked roads, and raided electricity offices, protesting the 24-hour power outage, which follows weeks of temporary outages.

More than 15 millimeters (0.7 inches) fell in Karachi on Saturday, flooding low-lying neighborhoods and stressing poorly-constructed buildings.

Video showed cars wading through several inches of water on the streets.

Most of the victims died as a result of collapsed buildings, electrocution, and falling trees, according to Edhi, a non-governmental organization that operates hospital services across Pakistan.

The government Saturday declared an emergency situation in all hospitals, according to Maj. Zia ul Hassan, the police chief of Sindh Province. He said his police were helping get the injured to hospitals and recover bodies from collapsed homes.

The storms uprooted trees and toppled billboards on Karachi streets, causing massive traffic jams and some injuries, officials said.

It is the beginning of Pakistan's monsoon season and more rain is forecast for the next few days.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Pakistani youths walk along a flooded street in Karachi.

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