LAHORE: At least 15 people, including nine in Lahore, five in Kasur and one in Nankana were killed in rain-related incidents as heavy rains virtually washed away the so-called infrastructure and administrative arrangements to deal with natural calamities in the city on Tuesday.
Fifteen-hour long spell of heavy rain inundated most of the city parts including residential areas, commercial localities, roads, hospitals, markets, graveyards, public parks, etc. Water entered thousands of houses and boats were used to evacuate people in distress and a large number of flights were cancelled at Lahore airport.
Tuesday’s rain also broke 38-year record of highest rain in Lahore, which occurred in 1980, when 260mm rain was recorded in the city. On Tuesday, a maximum of 288mm rain was recorded at Shahdara, 282mm at Lakshami Chowk, 264mm at Chowk Nakhuda, 263mm at Pani Wala Talab, 222mm at Allama Iqbal Town, 212mm at Mughalpura, 209mm at Gulshan-e-Ravi, 208mm at Upper Mall, 206mm at Nishtar Town, 205mm at Tajpura, 199mm at Gulberg Main Market, 183mm at Samanabad, 170mm at Jail Road, 152mm at Airport, 131mm at Jauhar Town and 85mm at Muslim Town.
Managing Director Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) claimed that rainwater was cleared from Lakshami Chowk, Qartaba Chowk, Lawrence Road, Chowk Nakhuda, Aik Moria Pull and several other localities till Tuesday evening.
He said Wasa teams remained on roads during the rain spell and all pumping stations and disposal stations were operated to their full capacity to drain out rainwater from the city.
Following the rain, three pit holes appeared on The Mall road opposite GPO Chowk, exposing the quality of work done by LDA’s Orange Line contractors. The road was opened for traffic in Dec 2017.
The biggest pit hole was like a big crater and was almost 40X35 feet wide and deep and invited rainwater to accumulate in the underground station of Orange Line. Chief Secretary Punjab, DG LDA and other top officials also visited the site. The chief secretary Punjab also directed an inquiry into the incident.
Meanwhile, nine persons were killed during the rain due to building collapses and electrocution. Police said two persons were killed when a building collapsed in Said Mitha Bazaar due to heavy rain. The victims were identified as Umar (24) and Abbas (32).
Six persons died after being electrocuted in various parts of the city included a 25-year-old man Akbar, a resident of Mozang, two unidentified persons were electrocuted near MAO College Road, a man died on Gulberg Main Boulevard due to an electric shock. The victim was identified as Ghulam Abbas (30). A man died near Abid Market due to an electric shock. The victim was identified as Mohammad Adnan (38), an unknown man was electrocuted at 179-B Block Garden Town and an old man died in a house in China Scheme due to electric shocks. The deceased was identified as Ishtiaq Ali (50).
Police said three persons were injured when a wall collapsed near College Road, Azmat Chowk, Township. The injured persons identified as Akbar (48), Aslam (30), and Akram (28), were shifted to a local hospital.
Another three persons sustained injuries when a wall collapsed near Jauhar Town UMT Road. The injured persons identified as Naseem (35), Asim (10), and Qurratulain (8) were shifted to a local hospital.
Police said a man and his daughter were injured when a wall collapsed near Pakka Meel Stop, Multan Road. They were identified as Rafique (60) and Asmat (20), were shifted to a local hospital.
Police said another man was injured when a wall collapsed near College Road at Lajna Chowk. The injured was identified as Bashir (64) and shifted to a local hospital, while a 22-year-old girl Sumaira was injured when the roof of a house collapsed near Khursheed Marriage Hall Bilal Gunj area. She was shifted to a local hospital. Two persons Afzal, (70) and his son Yasir (17), were injured in a roof collapse near Murtaza Chowk, Sanda.
Three persons received injuries when the roof of a house collapsed in the PIA Society Tuesday night. Rescue 1122 recovered the victims from debris and shifted them to Jinnah Hospital. The condition of two victims was stated to be critical. The victims were identified as Abdullah (50), Faisal (17) and Fatima (3).
In another incident, roof collapsed in Lohari Gate. However, no loss of life or injury to anyone was reported. A wall of Mayo Hospital also collapsed near Parking lot. As a result, a number of vehicles were damaged.
Meanwhile, stagnant rainwater caused inconvenience to people besides causing traffic blockage at all major roads and crossings across the city. The heavy rain that started early Tuesday broke records of the last 38 years and literally flooded the city.
The rainwater accumulation seriously affected majority of graveyards including Mian Mir Sahib, Faisal Town adjacent to Kotha Pind and the Pind Rajputan graveyards. The bank of a drain running by the Maulana Shaukat Ali Road in Jauhar Town collapsed and the drain water together with rainwater inundated Akbar Chowk, disrupting traffic flow on the PECO Road, Faisal Town Road and College Road.
Similarly, Capt Ahmed Mubeen Underpass, which was constructed at a cost of Rs310 million, was submerged in rainwater as there was no system to drain out accumulated rainwater. The underpass was inaugurated on Dec 9, 2017.
Accumulation of rainwater at Lakshami Chowk also caused a traffic jam. Wasa authorities remained at the Chowk till rainwater was drained out completely. Shumaila, a resident of Brandreth Road, said she had been witnessing accumulation of rainwater at Lakshami Chowk for the last 30 years.
Services Hospital, Mayo Hospital, Punjab University and many other offices were seen inundated with the rainwater while majority of the city markets remained deserted as streets were filled with rain water restraining the visitors.
Rainwater also accumulated at underpasses on the Canal Bank road while Jail Road underpass was the one which was completely inundated with the rainwater and was closed down for traffic. Qartaba Chowk was also one of the most affected areas, but rainwater was drained out till Tuesday evening.
Met office has predicted a similar rain spell on Tuesday night and early Wednesday. Correspondents add: Rain also lashed various parts of Punjab. A man was killed and another injured when a roof collapsed during heavy rain at Jhok Balochan in Nankana. Reportedly, the roof of the house of Muhammad Ali caved in during heavy downpour. As a result, Ali’s 45-year-old wife Zubaida and son Qasim Ali were seriously injured. They were shifted to a hospital where Qasim died.
Hafizabad city received heavy rain during the past 12 hours which turned the weather pleasant but created multiple problems for the citizens. The rainwater entered houses in most of areas, particularly in Garhi Awan, Mohallah Pir Kalay Shah, Mohallah Dhabwala, Islampura, Alipur Road and Sagar Road.
According to reports, five people were killed in rain-related incidents in Kasur. Muhammad Sharif, his son Murtaza and two other family members were sleeping in their house at Basti Sharu Kana when its roof collapsed. As a result, Murtaza died on-the-spot, while his father Muhammad Sharif and two other family members were injured.
Zulfiqar of Churkhana was electrocuted when he touched an electric fodder-cutter. A Lesco employee was repairing a transformer when he fell down and died on-the-spot. The three-year-old daughter of one Javed was electrocuted at Wakeelan Wali Street.
A schoolteacher was electrocuted at Bhadian. Meanwhile, a boundary wall near the sessions court area and DPO office collapsed. As a result, cars of a judge and two lawyers were damaged.