Four die, several injured in rain-related incidents across Punjab

Published June 7, 2023
Motorists on their way during the heavy rain that lashed the city on Tuesday afternoon. — White Star / M. Arif
Motorists on their way during the heavy rain that lashed the city on Tuesday afternoon. — White Star / M. Arif

LAHORE: Four people died and several injured due to heavy rain and hailstorm in central and south Punjab on Tuesday, inflicting damage on cotton fields and mango orchards.

In Lahore, one person died and three children injured when roofs of different houses collapsed due to heavy rain while 11 goats were electrocuted in Garhi Shahu.

In another incident, a man died and six others injured after suffering electric shock while bathing in a pool in Shadbagh. All the victims were shifted to Khwaja Saeed Hospital.

In Vehari, lightning claimed lives of two members of a family at Mauza Burana of Mailsi tehsil.

Hailstorm inflicts damage on cotton fields, mango orchards

Reports said Munawar Shah (40), his son Hasan Ali (14) and Gulab Shah (10) were working in a maize field during rain. Suddenly, lightning struck them as a result Munawar and his son Hasan Ali died on the spot and Gulab Shah received injuries and was admitted to Mailsi THQ hospital by Rescue 1122.

In Lahore, as many as 78mm rain was recorded at Lakshmi Chowk, 70 mm Mozang, 51 mm Mughalpura, 50 mm each at Chowk Naulakha and Tajpura, 43 mm Upper Mall, 41 mm Paniwala Talab, 30 mm airport, 28 mm Jail Road, and 27mm Gulberg.

In Multan, 10 people, including women, were injured when the wall of their second floor collapsed due to rain and windstorm at Qureshi Mor.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted rain/thunderstorms at isolated places in south Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and adjoining areas during the next 24 hours.

According to the synoptic situation, continental air was prevailing over most parts of the country. Western currents were reaching into western and central parts of the country. The PMD stated that “Mainly hot and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while very hot in southern parts”.

However, rain-wind/thunderstorm is likely at isolated places in Potohar region, south Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and adjoining areas, the PMD added.

During the last 24 hours, hot and dry weather prevailed over most parts of the country. However, a rain-thunderstorm occurred in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The highest maximum temperature - 45°C - was recorded in Turbat and Sibbi and Dalbandin 44°C.

Lahore: Passers-by and rescue workers try to remove a tree that collapsed on top of a car parked along The Mall during a thunderstorm, which lashed the city on Tuesday.—Murtaza Ali / White Star
Lahore: Passers-by and rescue workers try to remove a tree that collapsed on top of a car parked along The Mall during a thunderstorm, which lashed the city on Tuesday.—Murtaza Ali / White Star

The Punjab government had set up a target of 5,000,000 acre cotton crop to achieve 8,200,000 bales. The farmers were asked to cultivate cotton till May 31 and 12 types of seeds were approved by the government.

The government had set a target of achieving 91 per cent cotton from the south Punjab region and also established 14 farmers help centres. The government also had provided Rs1,000 per acre subsidy on DAP fertiliser.

The government had later achieved cotton cultivation targets in Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan divisions as 96pc of target was achieved in Multan and 92pc each in DG Khan and Bahawalpur.

However, the recent heavy rains and hailstorm had damaged the cotton crop and the government had ordered to check the damage to provide further assistance to farmers in re-planting cotton till June 15.

An agriculture department expert on condition of anonymity told Dawn that there was bumper crop of mango in the current season but 50pc of it damaged due to heavy wind and hailstorm in south Punjab region. “Still we are expecting a good mango yield.”

He said the cotton crop was recently cultivated and it was also damaged heavily in some areas and the department had directed the farmers to cultivate it again till June 15.

He said as the cotton plant was small and partially damaged the plant could get strength in a week while the farmers could cultivate again if it was completely damaged in a day or two.

Kissan Ittehad president Khalid Khokhar said the farmers had suffered losses due to heavy rain and hailstorm.

He said they were contacting the farmers to assess the damage and would make their report public soon.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2023

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