Efficient monitoring, swift action averts disaster

July 29, 2021

Rawalpindi : The heavy rainfall on Wednesday raised the water level of Nullah Leh considerably to 21 feet here at Katarian and 15 feet at Gawalmandi creating a sense of fear and panic among...

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Rawalpindi : The heavy rainfall on Wednesday raised the water level of Nullah Leh considerably to 21 feet here at Katarian and 15 feet at Gawalmandi creating a sense of fear and panic among residents of low-lying localities as the local administration blew ‘warning sirens’.

The local administration also issued a ‘Red Alert’ warning the public of possible urban flooding.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Saidpur Village received 128mm rain, Golra received 106mm, Bokra 22mm, PMD, H-8 received 69mm, Shamsabad 34mm and Chaklala received 18mm rain. The Met Office has also predicted a thunderstorm with isolated heavy rainfall in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in the next 24-hours.

Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) officials through loudspeakers continuously warned the public settled along Nullah Leh to shift to safer grounds. The majority of families shifted immediately on the occasion.

District Administration, Civil Defence Department, WASA and the ‘Rescue 1122’ remained on high alert to deal with any emergency. The heavy rainfall disrupted the routine life of residents settled in low-lying localities as the choked sewerage system led to city downtown areas being flooded with rainwater. All big and small ‘nullahs’ passing through the twin cities, including Korang Nullah overflowed during rain.

All underpasses in the city overflowed with rainwater but WASA officials were continuously removing rainwater with pumping machines.

All roads, including Murree Road, Airport Road, Mall Road, Jhelum Road, Faizabad Road, Iqbal Road Bagh Sardaran Road, and Kutchery Road remained flooded with rainwater. All underpasses were packed with rainwater while motorists faced hell-like situations. Several motors and bikes stopped on the roads during rain.

Quoting Flood Forecasting & Warning System, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood told ‘The News’ that the water level at Nullah Leh was continuously decreasing. “The water level here at Katarian rose to 21 feet but now it has decreased to 8 feet while at Gawalmandi it rose to 15 feet but now it is at 9.5 feet,” he claimed. He said that the situation is completely under control, if the rain stopped the water level will further decrease.

He said that the staff is well equipped with water sucking machines. “We are ready to face any kind of situation,” he claimed. All sanitation workers have been asked to remain on high alert in areas along Nullah Leh and metro bus stations to prevent waterlogging. He said that they have removed all rainwater from Liaquat Bagh and Committee Chowk Underpasses. Heavy machinery was continuously working to remove rainwater from all low-lying areas, he claimed.

The local administration issued flood warning for residents living in the low-lying areas of the city, especially the areas of Gawalmandi and Arya Muhallah. Massive traffic jams could be seen here at Raja Bazar, City Saddar Road, Benazir Bhutto Road, Mall Road, Rawal Road in Rawalpindi during heavy rainfall.

The majority of localities here in the city and cantonment board also faced power outages because of heavy rainfall. Several feeders tripped. In many areas, low voltage issues were experienced by consumers.

Meanwhile, New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA) was also affected by heavy rainfall. The rainwater continued trickling down the ceilings creating troubles for passengers in airport lounges.

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