Rains wreak havoc in vast regions: 13 killed in Punjab, death toll surges to 46 in KP

LAHORE: At least 13 persons were killed and dozens of others were injured in rain-related accidents across the Punjab, as heavy rains battered parts of the province on Friday. Also the death toll from rains and floods that unleashed wide-ranging destruction across the KPK, rose to 46.

Different parts of Lahore received extremely heavy rains ranging from 171mm at Pani Wala Talab, 152mm at Lakshmi Chowk to 107mm at Upper Mall. The rain turned the majority of the city roads into mini pools where long queues of vehicles were witnessed.

According to rescue sources, 13 persons were killed and five others sustained injuries in rain-related incidents in different parts of Punjab. In Chakwal, one was killed besides injuries to 12 others in Nankana Sahib in roof collapses and other incidents.

Four members of a family died when the roof of their house caved in due to heavy rain at Lakhwal village of Chakwal. In another incident, four more persons including Fazal Noor, her mother Ghulam Qamar, daughter Asma and a 12-year-old were killed in Ghugh village of the district.

Also, the wife of Mubashar was killed and her two children sustained injuries when the roof of their house collapsed in Bhikhari Khurd village in the same district. Ghulam Ali and his 10-year nephew were killed when the roof of their house caved in at Talagang. Sadiq died when the roof of his house fell on him in the Akwal village of Chakwal. In Raiwind, the imam of a mosque was electrocuted due to rain, police sources said. Muhammad Shehzad died after touching a wire while pouring sand on the roof, according to police.

Nine persons were injured when roofs of their houses caved in due to rain in Raiwind on Friday. The roof of the house of Akbarcollapsed after heavy rain at Jaslani Mor. As a result, his daughters Rizwana and Nargis, and son Ali, were injured. In another incident, the roof of the house of Muhammad Mansha collapsed at Shahkot. As a result, six persons, including Abida, Rukhsana, Rashid, Usman and Asmat Bibi, were injured.

In Khanewal, three members of a family were injured when their house collapsed near Dengian Pullan on Friday. According to Rescue-1122 officials, a roof caved in due to heavy rain in Khanewal city. As a result, Anila, wife of Zafar, and her children Mudassar and Shakila, sustained injuries.

The Meteorological Department Friday predicted more rains during the next 24 hours. The weather department predicted that rain-thundershowers were expected in Islamabad, upper Punjab, upper Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir in next 24 hours.

Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Lahore officials said that 171mm rain was recorded in the city at Pani Wala Talab, 153mm at Farrukhabad, 152mm at Lakshmi Chowk, 136mm at Tajpura, 128mm at Airport, 120mm at Chowk Nakhuda, 118mm at Johar Town, 115mm at Punjab University, 112mm each at Gulberg and Iqbal Town, 109mm each at Samanabad and Mughalpura, 107mm at Upper Mall and 102mm at Gulshan-e-Ravi.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar cancelled his routine meetings to inspect the city situation after heavy rains. He visited various Lahore areas without any protocol. At Lawrence Road, Wasa Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz briefed the CM about the recently constructed underground water tank, which, during Friday’s rain, had absorbed 14-lakh gallons of water, resulting in clearance of rainwater from Lawrence Road and its surrounding areas. The chief minister also visited Davis Road, Lakshmi Chowk and many other city localities and issued necessary instructions to Wasa officials. Following the news of CM’s presence on city roads, Provincial Secretary Nadeem Mahbub, Commissioner Lahore, DC Lahore and other senior officers also started visiting various points.

The rain, which started early morning, turned the majority of the city roads into mini pools. Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on all major city roads while roads. The roads leading to several hospitals including Services Hospital, Mayo Hospital, Lady Willingdon, Lady Aitchison, General Hospital and Dental Hospital were inundated with water. The roads submerged by rainwater hampered commercial activities in Shah Alam Market, Suha Bazaar, Brandreth Road, Montgomery Road, Urdu Bazaar, Ichhra, Model Town Link Road, Mughalpura, Ravi Road, Main Bazaar Township, Muslim Town, Sanitary Market Rehmanpura, Main Market Gulberg, Kasuri Road and etc.

Wasa MD told the media at Lakshmi Chowk that all 22 low-lying points of the city, except for Chauburji, was cleared of water in few hours after the rain. The rainwater was drained out from almost all city areas till evening, he added. Rainwater also accumulated in graveyards, including Miani Sahib, Mian Mir Sahib, Township, Samsani (Johar Town), Township, Faisal Town adjacent to Kotha Pind and Pind Rajputan graveyards where many graves caved in.

Meanwhile, the outdated power distribution system of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) partially collapsed during rain on Friday, shutting power supply to 130 feeders. Power supply to large areas could not be restored even after the rain stopped in the afternoon. Apart from suspension in electricity supply, severe fluctuations in voltage annoyed citizens in different areas. A Lesco official claimed that power supply to most of areas was restored by the evening and remaining faults would be rectified as soon as possible. He added that underground power supply system required huge capital and human resource capacity, saying that was why there were no policy guidelines in this regard.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army troops reached Khushab to assist the civil administration in relief efforts in the aftermath of flash floods. Due to recent rains, over 10 villages of Khushab district were affected, said a Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release. Troops of Mangla Corps were carrying damage assessment and busy in relief measures to help affected flood victims in Jabbi, Dhokri, Bhola, Khaliqabad, Waheer, and Hadali areas.

In a related, development. the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa PDMA said the rains and floods in the province had left 46 people dead and as many injured so far. A report released by the PDMA said as many as 333 houses suffered partial damage while 42 dwellings were destroyed in various parts of the province.

The agency said relief activities were in progress to help those affected by the calamity. It said relief items were provided to the affected people in Torghar, Lower Kohistan, Upper Kohistan and Buner districts. The PDMA said all rivers were in normal flow, adding it was in contact with the district administrations and the relevant departments to respond to any emergency. The communication said the PDMA Emergency Operation Centre was fully functional. It requested the people to report any untoward incident to either PDMA Helpline 1700 or the district administration concerned.

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