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Active rainfall fills Rawal Lake to capacity

Updated April 18, 2019

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A man canoes in Rawal Lake in Islamabad. — File photo courtesy of by Mohammad Asim
A man canoes in Rawal Lake in Islamabad. — File photo courtesy of by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: The weather system over central and upper parts of the country has almost cleared and is moving eastward, with negligible chances of further widespread rainfall today (Thursday).

The capital received 71mm of active rainfall on Wednesday, the heaviest in the country. The rain filled Rawal Lake, Islamabad’s key water reservoir, to capacity.

“The water level was only two inches short of the peak level of 1,762 feet by Wednesday evening and additional water was flowing down from the Murree area,” a Punjab irrigation department official said.

The rainfall began after midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday and lowered the temperature in the capital by more than 10°C; the highest temperature on Wednesday was 18°C.

Apart from rain-thunderstorms with strong winds, expected in isolated parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and adjoining hilly areas, skies over the rest of the country will be clear and the weather will be hot in plain areas.

The Met Office has predicted that temperatures will reach 28°C to 30°C on Thursday.

An official from the Met Office said there was no active weather system expected in two weeks, but isolated rain and thunderstorms could be expected.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat on Wednesday directed all rescue and emergency departments to be on alert due to the prevailing weather situation.

He was chairing a meeting at his office, which was attended by representatives of the the Meteorological Department, including weather forecasting officer, and officials of the navy, army, Rawal and Simly dams, Iesco, Water Supply Department and Disaster Management.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn that the officials of the Met Office briefed the meeting that a system had developed but it moved eastward.

The meeting also discussed water situation in Rawal and Simly dams and noted that the water level in the dams was below the danger line, but the dams officials were directed to open spillways before it reached the maximum level.

The capital’s revenue department has been directed to set up teams to visit areas close to nullahs, especially Korang and Leh, and put residents on alert.

“People residing adjacent to Korang and Leh nullahs will be asked to take safety measures and vacate the area when they are asked,” the DC said.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019