9 injured in roof collapse as rains continue to drench Lahore

Published July 8, 2023
A view of rainfall in Karachi on Saturday night. — DawnNewsTV
A view of rainfall in Karachi on Saturday night. — DawnNewsTV
A view of rainfall in Karachi on Saturday night. — DawnNewsTV
A view of rainfall in Karachi on Saturday night. — DawnNewsTV

At least nine people sustained injuries in two roof collapses in Lahore’s Azhar Town and Shahdara Town areas on Saturday during the ongoing rain spell in the Punjab capital, according to Rescue 1122.

According to a statement from the rescue department, all injured individuals have been transferred to nearby hospitals, with no reports of serious injuries.

This year’s monsoon has so far resulted in the loss of at least 50 lives since June 25, according to data released by the National Disaster Management Agency yesterday. Additionally, over 80 individuals sustained injuries due to multiple incidents.

The Punjab capital also witnessed moderate to heavy rainfall today.

As per the data provided by the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), the area around Nishtar Town Director’s Office recorded the highest rainfall of 85 millimetres, followed by Johar Town SDO Office with 70mm, Lakshmi Chowk 44mm, Gulshan-e-Ravi 41mm, Iqbal Town SDO Office 38mm, and the airport area 27mm of rainfall today between 6am and 11:30am.

Meanwhile, Relief Commissioner Punjab, Nabeel Javed, paid a visit to the control room of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), where he was informed about the looming threat of flooding in rivers.

During the briefing provided by the director general of PDMA, it was highlighted that further rainfall was anticipated in various cities of Punjab until tomorrow.

Emphasising the potential consequences of water release from India, the DG PDMA cautioned about the possibility of flooding in the Ravi and Chenab rivers, along with their associated streams and drains.

Javed underscored the importance of conducting effective monitoring of all situations from the provincial control room.

He urged officials to maintain a state of constant vigilance to effectively manage the emergency situation at hand.

Furthermore, the relief commissioner stressed the need for continuous monitoring of water flow in rivers and canals to stay proactive in flood prevention measures.

Isolated showers in Karachi

On Saturday afternoon, parts of Karachi experienced moderate rainfall, bringing a pleasant change to the weather in the metropolis.

 Rain in Karachi leaves streets wet and glistening on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
Rain in Karachi leaves streets wet and glistening on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

There was a heavy downpour observed in areas, including Malir and its surrounding vicinity.

By night, moderate to heavy showers were reported in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Safoora Goth, Sharea Faisal, Shah Faisal Colony, University Road, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad, Gulistan-i-Jauhar and other areas, according to DawnNewsTV.

Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab said: “It’s raining in different parts of the city. Stormwater drains are working and the teams are also present on the ground. Roads and underpasses are clear so far.”

He appealed to the citizens to “be careful while driving especially on bikes”.

A day ago, he imposed a rain emergency in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation — in view of the expected rains during the next two days — and directed all departments to function round the clock.

He had said that the cleaning of stormwater drains and small drains was in progress to ensure the timely drainage of rainwater and asserted pumps to drain accumulated rainwater were ready to be used.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority said in an update on Saturday night that heavy to moderate rain and thunderstorms had been reported from Sibi, Usta Mohammad, Bagh, Kohlu, Zhob, Sherani and Loralai areas over the last 24 hours.

More rains predicted

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has issued a warning regarding the likelihood of severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in North and Northeastern Punjab, which may lead to urban flooding in municipal areas and landslides in hilly regions.

In Sindh, including Karachi, Tharparkar, Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, and Shaheed Benazirabad, the Met Office has predicted potential thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

There is a possibility of thunderstorms in Northeastern Balochistan. The PMD has urged all stakeholders to maintain proactive coordination to ensure a prompt and streamlined response at the grassroots level.

Meanwhile, the NDMA asked city and district administrations to ensure contingency traffic plans for areas vulnerable to flooding in urban centres and catering for prompt de-watering operations in flooded underpasses.

The authority also asked district administrations to ensure the “completion of stock-taking and reconnaissance and public awareness in vulnerable areas, especially Marala Headworks on River Chenab and Jassar on River Ravi with respect to chances of flood flows until 20 July”.

Last night, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman warned citizens that “heavy rains and associated risks” over the weekend were predicted for Lahore and other cities of Punjab.

In a tweet, she said the National Disaster Management Authority had been providing “regular early warnings to PDMAs and all stakeholders” and directed them to “enhance preparedness”.

Cruel monsoons

At least 50 people, including eight children, have been killed by floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains that have lashed the country since last month, officials had said on Friday.

The majority of the deaths were in Punjab, and were mainly due to electrocution and building collapses, the NDMA said in a report.

On early Friday morning, heavy rain lashed Rawalpindi, inundating low-lying areas of the twin cities.

The same day, at least 11 people, including three teenage siblings, were injured in two separate rain-related incidents — a roof collapse and a bus overturning — in the Attock district on Friday, police and Rescue 1122 officials said.

Explaining high rates of electrocution during rains, a former head of the Lahore Electric Supply Company said that ageing distribution system shares the blame for high numbers along with the carelessness of people.

Last summer, unprecedented monsoon rains put a third of Pakistan under water, damaging two million homes and killing more than 1,700 people.

Storms killed at least 27 people, including eight children, in the country’s northwest early last month.

Pakistan, which has the world’s fifth largest population, is responsible for less than one per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to officials. However, it is one of the most vulnerable nations to the extreme weather caused by global warming.


Additional reporting by Abdullah Zehri

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