RAWALPINDI: Blazing sun and humidity on Friday forced the residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to stay indoors.

However, Met Office has predicted monsoon rains from Saturday morning in upper parts of country including Potohar region.

The Met Office recorded the maximum temperature at 41°C in the twin cities on Friday.

“Most parts of the country remained in grip of very hot and humid weather on Friday. However, rain accompanied by strong wind is expected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, upper Punjab, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan,” said the Met Office spokesman.

The Met Office said the temperature would lower after rain. He also warned of urban flooding during the monsoon rains.

It had already predicted 10pc above normal monsoon rains this year, adding that Kashmir and Sindh were likely to receive 20pc more rains this year.

Temperature has been on the higher side for the last few weeks and youngsters preferred to visit Rawal, Khanpur and Simli dams, Chattar Park as well as nearby water reservoirs for swimming to beat the heat. The rush over swimming pools in the twin cities was also witnessed despite the pandemic.

Dozens of people were admitted to hospitals after they fainted due to persistent exposure to heat.

Meanwhile, the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) had again started dredging of Leh Nullah with the cooperation of a private housing society.

Earlier, Wasa has cleared the nullah under the bridges, upstream and downstream of bridges from Katarian to Gawalmandi. However, some points were left out due to shortage of funds.

Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat said the agency had already completed monsoon plan 2020 and all necessary arrangements were being made to cope with any emergency situation during monsoon season.

He said that Wasa has completed dredging of vulnerable points in Leh Nullah but complete dredging would be carried in a day or two.

This will help the flow of water in Leh Nullah and also avoid flood situation in the city and low lying areas including Arya Mohallah, Nadeem Colony Dhoke Elahi Bakhsh and adjoining areas.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2020