ISLAMABAD: Rain-bearing clouds gathered over northern areas of the country in the early hours of Friday morning, causing heavy rain in parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa later in the day that led to deadly flash floods at places.
The westerly weather system that caused the rain was still active on Friday night and was likely to persist until Sunday, officials said, bringing rain-thunderstorm to isolated places in Malakand and Hazara divisions, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Several districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, received heavy rainfall. A 13-year-old boy drowned in the Allai locality of Abbottabad after falling into a fast-flowing seasonal stream.
The moist cold winds coming from the north-west direction brought 49mm of rainfall to Malamjabba, followed by 44mm to Kalam and 42mm to Kakul.
“The rainfall was heavy but limited to a short duration of a few hours which created flash floods in hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa...,” said an official of the Met office.
In Landi Kotal, a resident, Israf Khan, sustained injuries when a portion of his house collapsed due to rain and strong winds.
Electricity supply was suspended due to tripping of the systems in several areas, including Landi Kotal, while heavy rain and hailstorm caused flash floods in local streams and cut off traffic on the Peshawar-Torkham highway for some time.
Similar conditions were reported from Upper and Lower Dir, Chirat, Parachinar, Saidu Sharif and Lakki Marwat.
While water coming from the hills caused flash floods in the streams flowing through the city, the roads in Abbottabad city were flooded due to heavy rainfall, including the Karakorum Highway.
Many localities in the city remained inundated and rainwater entered many houses.
The downpour in the Galiyat area of Hazara division and Murree set off landslides at several vulnerable spots.
A rainfall of about 14mm in Murree led to a one-foot rise in the level of Simly lake, which is the main water reservoir for Islamabad.
Rawalpindi received a rainfall of 37mm and Islamabad 22mm within a period of three hours.
The westerly wave also brought rainfall to central and southern parts of Punjab, including Bahawalnagar, Sargodha, Gujranwala, D.G. Khan, Sahiwal and Bahawalpur.
Rainfall was also reported from parts of Azad Kashmir, including Kotli, Rawalakot and Garhi Dupatta.
Barkhan and Lasbela in Balochistan received 14mm of rainfall and traces of precipitation were recorded in several areas of Sindh, including Jacobabad (6mm), Larkana (5mm), Dadu (4mm) and Moenjodaro (3mm).
The rain drove the mercury down in most parts of northern Punjab, Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the weather remained hot in Shaheed Benazirabad and Jacobabad, where the maximum temperature recorded was 43 degrees Celsius.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2019