CHAKWAL/RAWALPINDI: Fourteen people were killed and over a dozen mini-dams along with scores of buildings collapsed in different parts of Chakwal as torrential rains wrecked havoc in the district on Thursday.
Roads connecting the rural areas with fields caved in and maize crops were destroyed over a large area. Traffic remained suspended on various roads due to collapse of roads and bridges as well as landslidings.
“Thirteen people have died in different areas in rain-related incidents,” Deputy Commissioner retired Captain Abdul Sattar Esani told Dawn.
In Lakhwal village, three sisters and their brother lost their lives while their two other sisters sustained injuries as they were buried under the debris of a room when it collapsed. The five sisters and their brother were sleeping in the room when the incident occurred. The deceased were identified as Kainat, 20, Mahtab, 17, Aiza, 10, and Darain, 14.
Nadia, 24, and her nine-year-old sister Taskeen sustained injuries. The three sisters and their brother were buried on Friday evening.
Mini-dams, roads along with scores of buildings collapse in different parts of district
DC Esani and Assistant Commissioner Muzaffar Mukhtar attended the funeral prayers and offered their condolences to the father of the deceased.
A man and his nephew and another man were killed in separate incidents of building collapse in Talagang.
A child and two women lost their lives in Dhoke Mait near Gugh village after the roof of their house caved in.
In another incident, a political worker, Malik Sultan Khan, a resident of Nurpur in Talagang, was swept away by raging water at Ankar Bridge as he was busy in making a video of the flooding. His body was recovered near Kotehra village.
A woman was also killed in Nain Sukh and another in Bikhari Khurd village due to collapse of buildings.
Moreover, Zille Abbas, 22, drowned in Kot Raja Dam.
Meanwhile, over a dozen of mini-dams built by farmers collapsed in different areas, intensifying the flash flooding. Four of these dams were located in Fim Kassar, two in Lakhwal and one each in Jaithal, Siral, Munday, Odherwal and Dhakku. Graves also collapsed in some areas due to the heavy rains and people were seen repairing them on Friday.
DC Esani said five relief camps had been set up in different areas of the district to provide shelter and food to the affected people.
“For the time being, our entire focus is on rescue and relief activities. After the situation gets settled, a detailed survey to assess the damage caused by the torrential rain would be conducted.”
The rains created a slushy mess and water logging in low-lying areas of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Friday.
However, the Met Office predicted hot and dry weather in most parts of the country. Rain-thundershowers are expected in northeastern Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.
“Monsoon currents are penetrating northeastern and southern parts of the country. A westerly wave is also present over northwestern parts of Pakistan,” said an official.
He said some parts of the Potohar region, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad, will receive rain.
The Meteorological Department recorded 18mm of rain at Saidpur, 25mm at Zero Point, 18mm at Golra, 21mm at Bokra and 137mm at the airport in Islamabad and 56mm at Chaklala and 51mm at Shamsabad in Rawalpindi.
The rain lashed the twin cities at midnight and in the afternoon on Friday. Due to the rain, water accumulated on the main roads and streets of low-lying areas.
The affected areas included Rawal Road, Jhelum Road, Sadiqabad, Burf Khana Chowk, Misrial Road, Ratta, Dhoke Mangtal, Ganjmandi, Hamilton Road, City Saddar Road, Ghazni Road and adjoining areas.
“The water level did not increase in Leh Nullah at Gawalmandi and Kattarian bridges. The nullah swelled to 18 feet on August 14 and after this the water level remained normal,” said Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood.
He said all main roads had been cleared of rainwater and the water sucker machines had been installed in and around the low-lying areas.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2020