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Rain batters Punjab; 18 lives lost


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A boy sitting under the open sky after his house collapsed due to torrential rains at Qila Saifullah. — Photo by INP

LAHORE: Torrential rain pounded several cities in the country, especially in southern Punjab and adjoining areas of Balochistan, on Sunday, claiming at least 20 lives, rendering hundreds of people homeless and washing away embankments of at least three canals.

Some TV channels put the number of deaths across the country at 30.

The rain-causing system that centred over lower Punjab and played havoc there has now moved on to eastern Sindh, generating fears of devastation in that region as well as in north-eastern Balochistan on Monday and Tuesday.

The Met Office said the system would start losing its strength after two days.

A couple, Rehana (35) and Latif (37), died after the roof of their house in Lahore’s Gowalmandi collapsed during a heavy shower.

According to reports pouring in from different parts of the country, four people lost their lives in Toba Tek Singh, three in Bahawalnagar, two each in Muzaffargarh and Hyderabad and one each in Khanewal and Okara.

In addition, unconfirmed reports indicated that five people lost their lives in different villages of Kamalia.

According to our correspondents, rainwater washed away embankments of canals in Rahimyar Khan, Multan and Vehari, inundating vast tracts of agricultural land and damaging crops.

The worst-hit was southern Punjab’s Khanpur town. It received 199mm of rain. Its average rainfall for the month is just 14.6mm. Rain in the town caused urban flooding and damaged crops, especially of cotton. Damage to mango plants was also reported.

The Met Office said that between 8am and 5pm Dera Ghazi Khan and Okara received 96mm of rain, Shorkot 85mm, Bahawalnagar and Sahiwal 79mm, Noorpur Thal 66mm, Toba Tek Singh 65mm, Bahawalpur city 45mm, Jhang 35mm, Rahim Yar Khan 31mm, Multan 27mm, Faisalabad 25mm, Nawabshah 24mm, Chhor 23mm, Bhakkar 20mm, Chakwal and Dera Ismail Khan 17mm, Parachinar and Mandi Bahauddin 16mm, Thatta 15mm, Joharabad and Rawalakot 14mm and Kotli 12mm. Rain was also reported in Murree, Badin, Jhang, Kakul, Lahore, Jacobabad, Garhi Dupatta, Mangla, Islamabad, Saidu Sharif, Muzaffarabad, Gujranwala, Mithi, Jhelum and Sukkur.

The Met department forecast widespread thunderstorm and rain, with scattered heavy to very heavy falls followed at times by a downpour, in Sindh, Zhob, Kalat, Sibi and Nasirabad divisions of Balochistan, and Bahawalpur, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal divisions of Punjab.

Scattered thunderstorm and rain, with isolated heavy falls, was forecast for Azad Kashmir and upper Punjab. Isolated thundershowers were forecast for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Flash flooding is likely to continue in the streams and hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan, Nasirabad, Sibi and Zhob.

While Hyderabad received 52mm of rain, an official of the meteorological department forecast downpour on Monday in Karachi and several other cities in Sindh.

The country’s chief weatherman, Arif Mahmood, said Saturday’s well-marked low-pressure area had entered eastern Sindh and its adjoining areas. Strong monsoon currents would continue to penetrate the central and southern parts of the country, particularly Sindh, he added.

He said heavy rains might cause urban and flash flooding in “vulnerable areas” of the province. Scattered rains and thundershowers were also expected on Tuesday.

Saleem Shahid adds from Quetta: Heavy rain killed at least three people and washed away 200 mud houses in eastern and northern Balochistan.

Qila Saifullah, the worst affected region, was cut off from rest of the province after a long portion of the main highway linking it with Quetta and other parts of the country was washed away.

According to official sources, around 100 mud houses were either destroyed or damaged in the district. Hundreds of homeless took shelter in government buildings.

Fifty trucks loaded with relief goods were sent to Qila Saifullah for the affected families.

The heavy rains also wreaked havoc in Jaffarabad district. Two people were killed and two children injured when a house collapsed in Goth Gajin Buledi of Subatpur area. At least 12 houses were washed away in Manjhipur area.

In Nasirabad district, rainwater entered many villages. “The standing crop of rice was damaged in two districts,” local people said. They complained that they were still waiting for relief supplies.

The official sources said that over 70 houses were washed away in Khuzdar district where floodwater gushed into several villages. “Hundreds of people were rendered homeless,” the sources said, adding that the administration was shifting them to safe places.

Power supply was disrupted and the road network badly affected in the rain-hit areas and a number of villages were cut off from the district headquarters.

Traffic between Quetta and Islamabad via Zhob and Dera Ismail Khan was suspended. Transport services and traffic between Loralai and Dera Ghazi Khan was suspended because of heavy flood in seasonal streams.

Heavy rains in Harnai, Zhob and other areas also caused suspension of traffic on the highways.

The rain affected normal life in Quetta as roads overflowed with sewage.

Rainwater flowing in from mountains damaged several houses in the city.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority launched rescue and relief work in the affected areas.

Comments (5) Closed

Anand Sep 10, 2012 04:29am
Mother nature is taking care of out of control population growth. The sad thing is that it is not going to make any difference. I am more worried about the livestock loss in rainy season.
Ahmad Alvi Sep 10, 2012 05:53am
for a 3rd year in a row pakistani disaster management authorities are unable to reduce the losses in advance. human life is cheaper than water. where all the aid and rescue exercises were???
Faridoon Sep 10, 2012 05:56am
Ya Khaliq, ya Malik, ya Raaziq, ay mere Allah, iss barish ko tamaam Pakistan per apni rehmat bana day. Hamay apnay gunahon ki maghfirat maangnay ki taufeeq ata farma aur sachay dil se tauba karnay wala bana. Aur apnay azaab se mahfooz rakh. Beshak tu Arhamar Rahemeen hai, tu Ghafoor ur Raheem hai, tere siwa koi nahi jo hum per rehmatain aur naematein ata karay.
hr Sep 10, 2012 09:20am
what a sick, twisted thing to say
Khalid Abro Sep 10, 2012 11:53am
Dear Dawn Team As per the statistics of Pak Met Office on 10th Sept rain fall figures in Punjab stand D.G Khan 76 mm, Khan Pur 106 mm, Multan 51 mm, Mianwali 32 mm, Shotkot 28 mm and elsewhere rain fall is below above quoted numbers. However, the statistics of rain fall in Sindh Province is Badin 50 mm, Chorr 35 mm, Jacobabad massive 305 mm, Larkano 58 mm, Rohri 152 mm, Sukkur 164 mm for one day only and yet your newspaper says rain batters Punjab. I guess there is no reporters of yours deployed in Sindh or Sindh still needs more numbers to be battered. Or is your editorial team only focusing in Punjab? leaving rest of the part of Pakistan to do their own reporting.