LAHORE: The first heavy monsoon showers across Punjab on Monday inundated many urban areas and raised the fear of flash floods in some parts of the province, putting the district administrations on their toes.
The foothills of Kashmir (Sialkot, Pasrur, Gujranwala and Gujarat) were hit heavily, while seasonal rainwater nullahs threatened to breach banks and flood areas around them. In Pasrur, Nullah Dek actually did it when it overflowed to flood around 10 nearby villages.
Similarly, the situation in Sialkot was not different as better part of the city was inundated.
In Lahore, the monsoon cycle started with a mixture of heavy spells, dotted with continuous drizzle and cloud cover. The meteorological officials say that the pattern would hold throughout the province till Thursday.
First monsoon spell brings respite from stuffy, hot weather
The city on Monday received 20 millimeter rain and in airport area it was 33mm. The heaviest spell was recorded between 10am to 11am, which produced 20mm rain, while during the rest of the day yielding the rest 10 millimeters.
The rain and cloud cover over the city pushed temperatures down by almost 10 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in the city was 28.4 degrees Celsius and minimum 26.9 degree Celsius, with a difference of only 1.5 degree Celsius.
Strong winds further re-freshened the city’s weather, with air current hitting 27 knots, bringing much needed break from the scorching heat that had gripped the city for more than three weeks and had tested nerves of the Lahorites.
It was not only Lahore which had its share of the first monsoon spell, as other cities received even heavier downpour, with Sialkot leading with 198mm, Jhang 92mm, Gujranwala and Toba Tek Singh 60mm, Gujrat 63mm and Kasur 26mm.
Though the Met office had earlier predicted rains only for the upper part of the province, and the current spell only going down to Faisalabad, the Monday rain belied the forecast and went right up to Multan and Bahawalpur. Though it did not rain in Rahim Yar Khan on Monday, the Met officials predicted it for the southern city as well in the next 24 hours, virtually covering the entire Punjab.
Rain in the upper parts is a welcome development for farmers because the area is covered with rice, which needs as much water as it gets. It is especially so as Mangla Lake is struggling to get filled and Punjab needs to conserve as much water as it can.
However, rain generating system travelling to southern part of the province is worrying for cotton farmers, where hot and humid weather could lead to pest attack and further tax already struggling cotton crop.
The heaviest rain spells in districts like Sialkot and Narowal also raised threat of flooding.
According to the Dawn correspondent, the rail track between Sialkot and Pasrur and Sialkot-Sambrial-Wazirabad remained inundated due to this torrential rain.
About the situation in the Pasrur tehsil, Assistant Commissioner Khizar Hayyat told Dawn by telephone that a peak of 29,400 cusecs passes through Nullah Dek at Kingra, which has a total capacity of 30,000 cusecs. The floodwater splashing over the banks of Nullah Dek inundated hundreds of acres of fields and ten villages in Pasrur tehsil, he said.
Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2021