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April 18, 2019

49 people perish as rains wreak havoc across country

Top Story

April 18, 2019

By Our Correspondents

ISLAMABAD: Forty-nine persons lost their lives and 117 houses were destroyed as torrential rains wreaked havoc across the country, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reported on Wednesday.

The NDMA report fears that 200,000 tonnes of wheat could be wasted. Floods inundated several villages in Rajanpur forcing the people to migrate. Thousands of acres of crop have been destroyed in Sindh along with mango gardens. Three girls died and eight persons were wounded in rain-related incidents in the Punjab. A roof of a house collapsed in Haveli Lakha, killing three girls while three persons sustained critical injuries. In a similar incident in Gujranwala, two women and two children were injured. Likewise, one minor died and one person was wounded in Bajaur district’s Khar area.

The low-lying areas were inundated in Lahore owing to heavy rainfall that started on Tuesday night. Roads and underpasses were flooded and flight operations at the Allama Iqbal International Airport were affected. The city also faced power outages. The farmers of upper Punjab need to take all the precautionary measures for the protection of their wheat crop in view of chances of hailstorm along with the rains.

Islamabad received 57mm rain, Rawalpindi, 24mm, Lahore, 43 mm, Gujranwala 40mm and Peshawar 16mm during the last 24 hours. In Toba Tek Singh, a man died and his two women relatives sustained injuries when the roof of a roadside tea shop collapsed on them on Tuesday night near Pirmahal.

Allah Nawaz of Chak 771/GB was going on his motorcycle along with his two relatives Rehana and Misbah. They took shelter under a tea shop to avoid rain, but its roof fell on them, leaving Allah Nawaz dead on the spot and both the women wounded. The injured were shifted to a hospital.

Three sisters died when roof collapsed on them Wednesday in Okara. Reportedly, guests were staying at the house of Abdul Wahid of Mohallah Islamnagar of Haveli Lakha to attend a marriage function. At night the guests were sleeping when owing to massive rains, the roof of his house collapsed, killing three daughters of Shaukat Ali of Pakpattan and wounding five others. Local and Rescue 1122 retrieved the bodies and injured from the debris. The injured were rushed to a hospital. Deputy Commissioner Maryam Khan and Depalpur AC Tabraiz Sadiq Marri met the injured at the hospital. In Sialkot, an elderly man died when a roof collapsed on him in village Dhillam Balagan. According to police, a mud house collapsed due to rains near the shrine of a saint in Sambrial Police Station limits. Haji Muhammad Ramzan, 80, died on the spot and Kamran, 22, suffered injuries and was shifted to a hospital.

Meanwhile, the Multan city district administration Wednesday issued a rain red alert to alldepartments directing them to adopt preventive measures keeping in view the current heavy rains. DC Mudassar Riaz Malik held a meeting in this connection and asked the departments to cope with the situation. The DC instructed the Water and Sanitation Agency, Solid Waste Management Company, Water Management and other departments to evaluate the situation. He asked officials of the agriculture department to manage crop damage situation.

The DC said rains had damaged walls of 33 schools in Multan district. He said windstorm destroyed solar systems of more than a dozen schools and uprooted high-voltage 132 kva tower in Basti Malook.

The current heavy rains have almost destroyed crops of wheat, maize and fodder on over 35,000 acres of land in Punjab districts. According to agriculture department officials, the rain spell damaged crops in Punjab and the agriculture department was issuing precautionary measures for farmers.

Agriculture information officials said farmers must listen to radio and TV for weather updates. If farmers again receive rain forecast, they should stop wheat harvest and cover the harvested crop under shed. The agriculture information officials asked maize farmers to remove rainwater from fields to save plants from sudden death.

Meanwhile, Nankana Sahib and its outskirts received intermittent downpour Wednesday. The rain continued the whole day and rainwater inundated low-lying areas. A woman and her daughter sustained injuries when a roof collapsed on them in the Kashmir Colony, Rahwali. Asia Bibi, 50, and her daughter Rubi, 16, were in a room when its roof collapsed due to the continuing rain spell, leaving them injured. Rescue 1122 staff shifted them to the DHQ hospital.

Daska and its adjoining areas received downpour on Wednesday. The rain started early morning and continued till 6pm. The rainwater entered the houses and cottages of residents of low-lying areas. Lalamusa received light rain with intervals on Wednesday. The rain turned the low-lying areas into rivulets, creating problems for the people.

Several people were injured as trees uprooted and walls collapsed at various places in Nowshera district after rain, coupled with winds, hit different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the provincial capital, on the second day Wednesday. The Nowshera district administration set up a control room to coordinate efforts in providing relief to the people. The Kabul River was in medium flood as the flow of water was recorded at 81,000 cusecs. The rain damaged the wheat crop and orchards. It disrupted the communication system. The district administration has started conducting a survey to assess the damage caused by the rains. Reports said cattle heads were also swept away by the rainwater in some places. Syed Amjad Ali Shah told reporters that the wall of his house had collapsed, asking the government to provide him financial assistance.

In Bannu, the rainwater inundated an under construction mosque in Domail when a seasonal water channel swelled after the outburst of clouds. The locals said rainwater flooded their houses due to poor planning and execution of work on a bridge. The reports said standing crops and orchards were damaged in various parts of the district. The Met Office said the rain also lashed parts of Punjab, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and isolated places in Quetta, Zhob, Sibbi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur divisions and Gilgit-Baltistan.

According to the Met Office, Malam Jabba received 65mm rain followed by Upper Dir with 62, Lower Dir 34, Mirkhani 55, DI Khan 40, Kalam 37, Parachinar 35, Cherat 31, Saidu Sharif 30, Peshawar 30, Pattan 29, Drosh 26, Bannu 21, Chitral 20, Balakot 11 and Kakul 10, Khanewal 38, Noorpurthal 37, Jhang 34, Kasur 33, Gujrat, Hafizabad 28, Sialkot 25, Layyah 22, DG Khan 20, Narowal, Sargodha 18, Chakwal, Bahawalnagar 14, Jhelum 12, Joharabad 11, Mangla 10, Murree, Bhakkar, Rahim Yar Khan, Khanpur 9, Okara, Sahiwal 8, Bahawalpur 7, Toba Tek Singh 6, Multan 2 and Kot Addu 1. In Sindh, Padidan received 32mm rain, Hyderabad 7, Rohri, Tando Jam 2, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Badin 1, Rawalakot 18, Garhi Dupatta 17, Muzaffarabad 16 and Kotli received 8, Quetta 16mm, Barkhan 12, Zhob 8, Sibbi 6 and in Gilgit-Baltistan Gupis and Astore received 1mm rain.

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