Circular Road near Bhatti Chowk flooded with rainwater creating problems for both motorists and pedestrians. The authorities concerned have failed to resolve this issue for long. — White Star / M. Arif
Circular Road near Bhatti Chowk flooded with rainwater creating problems for both motorists and pedestrians. The authorities concerned have failed to resolve this issue for long. — White Star / M. Arif

LAHORE: Torrential rains that lashed the province in the last 24 hours caused six deaths, collapse of six buildings and major injuries to 26 others, said the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) here on Tuesday.

According to the authority, one of the deaths was reported from Manga Mandi area of Lahore where a roof collapse caused it and another in Jaranwala (Faisalabad) where the wall of a house fell due to heavy rains and led to a death.

Another building collapse on Samundri Road (Faisalabad) claimed a life and caused four major and two minor injuries.

In Mianwali, two persons were killed when heavy rains inundated houses and cattle yards in the low-lying areas of the city. The PDMA had to cut two distributaries (R-1 and R-2) to drain rainwater and rescue 38 people stuck in the urban flooding.

26 injured in collapse of six buildings

Around 26 major injuries were reported from all over the province, almost all of them involving the collapse of buildings. Another 13 people received minor injuries in different incidents throughout the province.

According to the PDMA, the rain producing system was entering upper and central regions of the country, where it would join the already existing westerly waves, and bring about severity to the system.

In the next 24 hours, the weather pundits claim that scattered to fairly widespread thunderstorm and rain and heavy rainfall at isolated places, very heavy falls at one or two places is likely over the upper catchments of all the major rivers in Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala and Lahore divisions.

Scattered thunderstorm and rain of moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls is expected over Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan divisions. In the next 48 hours, the system would start weakening and fizzle out unless another system joins it.

Lahore received a substantial shower, with some of its area receiving over 100mm rain. Minimum shower was reported from Jail Road area, with 40mm and maximum at Paniwala Talab with 103mm.

All seven nullahs (streams) snaking through Sialkot district, where flooding was the most feared, were flowing at their normal pace. According to the Flood Control Room at the Deputy Commissioner office, the city received heavy rain with 56.60mm at Cantt area and 79.40mm at airport. The Chenab was flowing at 108,488 cusecs, against designed capacity of 1.1 million cusecs and the situation was under control.

Similarly, reports from Rawalpindi suggested that the situation there was also under control.

According to the irrigation department officials, the focus (up to 60 per cent) of rain activity shifted to downstream Mangla Lake, thus it did not help fill the lake in any major way. It also meant that there was no riverine flooding in the province.

“All flood plains were safe till Tuesday night and now the department is resigned to the fact that Mangla Lake may end up at far below its optimum level – a scenario that gives sleepless nights to the Punjab water planners,” says one of the officials.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021

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