Thursday August 11, 2022

Rain wreaks havoc in Rawalpindi, Islamabad

Rainwater entered the New International Airport and railway tracks, houses, and shops and submerged various streets.

By Our Correspondent
July 26, 2022
Rain wreaks havoc in Rawalpindi, Islamabad

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD/SUKKUR: A heavy rain in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Monday morning flooded the streets and low-lying areas, forcing families to shift to safer places. According to the Met Office, Rawalpindi and Islamabad received 100mm rain.

In Rawalpindi, the local management sounded the alarm bells after imposing rain emergency in the garrison city. Water level touched 15 feet in Nullah Leh at Gawalmandi and Katarian, forcing the gypsy families settled on the nullah banks and in low-lying localities to shift to safer places. The heavy rainfall played havoc in the low-lying areas and cantonment board localities besides inundating streets and roads in almost every part of Rawalpindi city, which exposed the inefficiency of civic bodies. Rainwater entered the New International Airport and railway tracks, houses, and shops and submerged various streets. The national and international air flights’ schedule was massively affected. The train operations at the Rawalpindi Railway Station were also affected besides the Metro Bus Service (MBS).

The rain started at about 11:00am and continued for almost one and a half hours. In the low-lying areas, rainwater overflowed from small channels of Nullah Leh and gushed into houses of people up to the level of 3 to 4 feet level, causing great hardships and nuisance for them.

The localities of Adiala Road, Gawalmandi, parts of Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Chamanzar, Urdu Bazaar, Dhoke Elahi Bakhsh, Rahimabad, Tench Bhatta, Jan Colony, Dhoke Farman Ali, Amar Pura, Dhoke Ratta, , Mughalabad, Dhok Khabba, Dhok Hafiz, Dhok Farman Ali, Rahimabad, Banni, Kohati Bazaar, Nadeem Colony, Jan Colony, Jehangir Road, Sadiqabad, Arya Mohallah, Muslim Town, Dhoke Chiraghdin, Ganjmandi, Mohanpura, Ahmedabad, Misriyal, Tehmasabad, Morgha, Dhok Kala Khan, Gulistan Colony and some parts of Asghar Mall Scheme and areas close to the Leh Nullah at Amar Chowk, Liaquat Bagh, Shamsabad will be badly hit if water level crossed the danger level in Nullah Leh. Raja Akram Colony, Bakramandi, Dhok Munshi, Raheemabad, Scheme-III, Garibabad, New Lalazar, Dhok Juma, Al-Mumtaz Colony, Chungi No22, Adra and several other areas were strongly affected.

Senior officials of WASA, TMA, Albayrak, RCB, CCB, Rescue 1122 and volunteers reached the site of Gawalmandi and Dhoke Ratta. WASA Managing Director Muhammad Tanvir told The News that all field staff was busy removing rainwater from areas. “We have cleared rainwater from all underpasses for smooth flow of traffic. The heavy machinery is still present in the low-lying areas and removing the rainwater,” he claimed.

In Islamabad, rain inundated streets and low-lying areas. The residents blamed the faulty drainage system for their downpour-induced problems. Golra area received the highest amount of rain (100mm) followed by Zero Point (81), Saidpur (31) and Airport (13).

While bringing the mercury down, the downpour, which was accompanied with strong winds, left the streets and roads flooded causing traffic jams. During the rainfall and thereafter, traffic moved at a snail’s pace on Islamabad’s main Nazimuddin Road, Margalla Road, IJP Road, Expressway and Jinnah Avenue, and Rawalpindi’s Benazir Bhutto Road, the Mall, Iqbal Road, 6th and 7th Roads, Double Road, Rawal Road, Airport Road, Bahria Town Road and Raja Bazaar Road.

According to the Met Office, there is a high likelihood of the twin cities continuing to receive thunderstorms. The weathermen said the ongoing monsoon weather phenomenon would last till August with rains expected to lash Islamabad, adjoining areas and other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, rain also played havoc in other parts of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Various cities of Sindh, including Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Sajawal, Johi, Dadu, Obaro, Sukkur, Khairpur, Larkana and other cities were affected. Water accumulated on roads, disrupting commute as well as electricity system. In Ranipur, district Khairpur, the walls of a house collapsed, killing a woman. In Radhan, Nawabshah district, a boy Noor Muhammad died in a roof collapse incident. Sindh Minister for Irrigation Department Jam Khan Shoro visited various areas of Hyderabad to review the situation.

In Balochistan, as many as 102 deaths have occurred so far due to the torrential rains and flash floods. Talking to newsmen, spokesperson for the Balochistan government, Farah Azeem Shah, said those who died in the rain-related incidents included 39 men, 30 women and 33 children. The rains have damaged 580 kilometers of roads, eleven bridges and five dams in the province. Besides, 706 cattle have also died due to floods. About the government’s immediate response and resolve, she noted that the provincial government was continuing the relief operation in the rain-affected districts by utilising all available resources. Farah praised the initiative of the provincial government and Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo for issuing compensation to the families of the people who died due to heavy monsoon rains and floods.

The Balochistan govt spokesperson further said the provincial government will not make any compromise on all possible relief and rehabilitation of the victims. “The government is trying to provide all possible relief to the rain-hit people by shifting them to safer places and continuing the relief activities,” she said, adding that the administration was taking all possible steps to provide tents, ration and medical facilities to the affected people.

Parts of Punjab were also affected by the rain system on Monday. Two persons, including a 12-year-old boy, died while a minor sustained injuries when the wall of an empty plot collapsed near Alhaaj Marriage Hall in Shahdara, Lahore. Police handed the bodies to the families after completing legal formalities.

Faisalabad received 45mm rain, killing four people and injuring 20 others. The heavy downpour also inundated low-lying areas and caused numerous problems to the residents, pedestrians and passersby.

Managing Director (MD) Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Abu Bakar Imran issued necessary directives to the field staff for pumping out rainwater from all main and important roads and streets. He said WASA field staff was already alerted to drain out rainwater from streets and bazaars whereas flood emergency camps were working round-the-clock in different parts of the city to redress the public complaints without any delay.

Meanwhile, two persons, Ashfaq Ahmad (42) of Sadiq Abad, and Imran Naseem (45) of Rahim Yar Khan, were killed, while 12 others sustained injuries when the roof of Shakeel Hotel situated on Sargodha Road near the General Bus Stand collapsed due to rain. Rescue 1122 shifted the injured to Allied and DHQ hospitals.

In rain and flood related incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last three days, three people died and seven others injured, said a press release issued by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA on Monday. It said that 221 houses were partially damaged and 102 destroyed completely in the province.

According to a spokesman for the PDMA, relief goods were distributed among the rain affected areas of Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram, D.I Khan and Kohistan Upper. Meanwhile, Director General PDMA Sharif Hussain has directed the district administrations of all rain and flood affected districts to estimate the losses and provide all possible assistance to the victims.