Motorcyclists travel on Jamia Masjid Road while a traffic policeman performs his duty during rain in Rawalpindi on Monday. — Photos by Mohammad Asim & Online
Motorcyclists travel on Jamia Masjid Road while a traffic policeman performs his duty during rain in Rawalpindi on Monday. — Photos by Mohammad Asim & Online

RAWALPINDI: Heavy rain lashed the twin cities on Monday afternoon, with the Pakistan Meteorological Department predicting another heavy spell of rain from April 16 to 22.

The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) imposed a rain emergency in the garrison city and deployed its teams in low-lying areas till the end of the next spell of rain. Water accumulated in low-lying areas of the garrison city whereas water level in Leh Nullah remained at six feet in Gawalmadi and five feet at Katarian Bridge.

Rain started after noon and continued until the evening, with small intervals. However, the sun overpowered the clouds at 5pm and the weather cleared.

According to the Met Office, 22mm of rain was recorded at Zero Point, 21mm at Saidpur, 9mm at Golra, 7mm at Bokra, 4mm at Islamabad International Airport, 18mm at Kutchery, 15mm at Shamsabad, 10mm at Chaklala in Rawalpindi, and 58mm in Murree.

According to Wasa Managing Director Saleem Ashraf, the agency imposed a rain emergency in the garrison city and cancelled vacations of the staff. He said the city was divided into four sectors, and teams were deployed with water-pumping machines to drain out water from the low-lying areas.

He said there were few reports of water accumulation in the garrison city, and they cleared the roads and low-lying areas within a few hours after the rain.

On the other hand, the Met Office has predicted more rain, windstorms and thunderstorms during the week (with occasional gaps). It said another strong westerly wave was likely to enter the western parts of the country on April 16 (night), gripping most parts of Balochistan on April 17, and extending to the upper parts on April 18.

Under the influence of this weather pattern, rain, windstorms, and thunderstorms (few heavy with isolated very heavy falls) are expected in Gwadar, Kech, Awaran, Chaghi, Kharan, Lasbela, Khuzdar, Kalat, Noshki, Mastung, Jhal Magsi, Naseerabad, Sibbi, Kohlu, Dera Bugti, Barkhan, Loralai, Harnai, Qilla Saifullah, Mastung, Ziarat, Shirani, Zhob, Musa Khel and Barkhan from April 16 to April 19 (morning).

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, rain, windstorms and thunderstorms (a few heavy with isolated very heavy falls) with snowfall over high mountains were expected in Chitral, Dir, Swat, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner and Malakand, Waziristan, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Karak, Khyber, Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Mardan and Kurram, with occasional gaps from April 17 (night) to April 21.

Hailstorms are also expected in isolated places during the forecast period.

Additionally, rain, windstorms, and thunderstorms (a few heavy falls) with snowfall over high mountains are expected in Gilgit (Diamer, Astore, Ghizer, Skardu, Hunza, Gilgit, Ghanche and Shigar) and Kashmir (Neelum Valley, Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot, Poonch, Hattian, Bagh, Haveli, Sudhanoti, Kotli, Bhimber and Mirpur), with occasional gaps from April 18 to 22.

Rain, windstorms and thunderstorms (with few heavy falls or hailstorms) are also expected in Murree, Galliyat, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Sialkot, Narowal, Lahore, Kasur, Okara, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Khushab, Sargodha, Mianwali, Pakpattan and Sahiwal from April 18 to 21; while in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Bhakkar, Layyah, Multan, Kot Addu, Muzaffargarh, Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad, Khanpur, Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar, with occasional gaps from April 18 to 20.

In Sindh, rain, windstorms and thunderstorms are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Larkana, Dadu, Qambar Shahdad Kot, Jamshoro and Sanghar from April 17 (night) to April 19 (morning).

The Met Office has warned that heavy rainfall might generate flash flooding in local nullahs and streams of Balochistan, especially Gwadar, Kech, Awaran, Kalat and Khuzdar, on April 17 and 18, while Dir, Swat, Chitral, Kohistan, Mansehra, tributaries of the Kabul River, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Kashmir, from April 18 to 20.

The possibility of landslides in Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Murree, Galiyat, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan may affect the vulnerable locations from April 18 to 21. Windstorms, hailstorms, and lightening may damage standing crops and loose structures like electric poles, vehicles, and solar panels.

It asked farmers, especially in wheat-harvesting areas, to manage their crops keeping in view the weather conditions. It advised tourists to avoid unnecessary travel during the forecast period and asked all concerned authorities to remain alert and take necessary measures to avoid any untoward situation during the forecast period.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2024

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