At least 20 die in rain-related incidents in Punjab: Rescue 1122

Published June 26, 2023
A view of a flooded underpass in Lahore after rainfall on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
A view of a flooded underpass in Lahore after rainfall on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

At least 20 people died in rain-related incidents in Punjab over the last 24 hours, Rescue 1122 said in a statement issued on Monday afternoon.

The statement, issued by provincial emergency service spokesperson Farooq Ahmed, attributed the deaths to electrocution, drowning and lightning.

It stated that five people died in Narowal and two in Sheikhupura after they were struck by lightning. Meanwhile, seven people drowned in the province and six deaths occurred due to electrocution.

According to the statement, 10 people were injured in incidents of wall and roof collapse in Lahore, three in Chiniot and one in Sheikhupura. Separately, seven people sustained injuries after they were hit by lightning.

Sixty-one cases of electrocution were referred to hospitals across the province of which 54 were provided immediate medical aid, the statement added.

Meanwhile, journalist and author Raza Ahmad Rumi shared pictures of flooded roads, which he said were of Lahore’s Garden Town.

The pictures showed people wading through knee-high water on roads.

“Clear signs of a failed model of urban development, thoughtless infrastructure and dysfunctional municipal governance,” Rumi commented on the situation.

Similarly, digital rights activist Nighat Dad also shared a video of Lahore’s Captain Mubeen Shaheed Underpass where a vehicle was seen submerged in water up till the roof.

“Does anyone know how many underpasses we have in Lahore and what is the local government’s work plan around monsoon and urban flooding?” asked Dad.

In view of the rain situation, traffic police in Lahore deployed additional wardens on busy roads and thoroughfares in low-lying areas of the city. Fork lifters were also deployed at various spots, a statement issued by City Traffic Officer (CTO) Mustansir Feroz said.

The CTO asked the people to practice caution during the rain, drive carefully, stay away from electric installations and poles and avoid unnecessary travel.

PM, interim CM issue directives

Taking notice of the situation in Lahore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the provincial government and district administration to take immediate steps for draining the standing water.

“Make arrangements for draining the water within 24 hours,” a statement issued by the PML-N quoted him as saying.

He also directed the authorities to mobilise teams from all relevant institutions in the rainy situation and constantly monitor the situation and take administrative measures.

The PM also gave instructions to ensure the uninterrupted flow of traffic in the city and protective and preventive measures in other parts of the country.

State broadcaster Radio Pakistan reported that Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi had directed the provincial administration, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Rescue 1122 and the Water and Sanitation Agency to stay alert for the next 24 hours due to the heavy rains.

The report said the minister asked the relevant officers to stay in the field and said that “negligence in drainage work will not be tolerated”.

He said the drainage of rainwater, with the use of necessary machinery, should be ensured within the stipulated time and special arrangements should be made to ensure the uninterrupted flow of traffic.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has expressed grief over the deaths caused by lightning in Punjab.

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