LAHORE: The River Chenab nearly attained the level of high flood at two places on Sunday as the monsoon spell continued to generate heavy rains in upper parts of the country and in Lahore and other cities and towns of north and north-eastern Punjab.
Low-lying areas of central, northern and north-eastern Lahore were inundated because of heavy rain on Saturday night.
Rain turned streets and bazaars into rivulets in the downtown and in the northern localities like Misri Shah, Wassanpura and Shadbagh.
The Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) of the Pakistan Meteorological Department indicated a decrease in the intensity of rains in ‘24 to 36 hours’.
The first spell of heavy rains of the current season, in mainly upper parts of the country and upper Punjab, was generated by a strong westerly wave and monsoon current.
The FFD said the westerly wave moved over to Kashmir and the monsoon current of moisture started losing its strength on Sunday. “This means a gradual decrease in the intensity of rainfall,” a meteorologist said.
FFD chief Riaz Khan said the level of water in Chenab would start falling in a day because of the expected gradual stoppage of rains in its catchments.
A peak of 194,000 cusecs passed Chenab at Khanki and Qadirabad at 6am on Sunday and it was expected to start falling after touching the high-flood level of 200,000 cusecs in 24 hours.
But the FFD indicated flooding of rainwater channels of Chenab and Ravi in the Sialkot region.
Meanwhile, rainfall continued in upper parts of the country and Punjab. It was quite heavy in the eastern and north-eastern areas of Lahore. Sunday’s rain added to miseries of the Water and Sanitation Agency after it failed to drain out the rainwater from various areas of the city.
The Met office recorded 47mm of rain at its Jail Road observatory, but only 17mm at the airport.
The final report of 24 hours indicated that Misri Shah received 192mm of rain, the Lahore Fort 175mm, Shahdara 166mm, Upper Mall 140mm, city 110mm and airport 96mm.
Gujranwala received 4mm of rain, Dera Ismail Khan 49mm, Chakwal 44m, Mandi Bahauddin and Sialkot Cantt 23mm (each), Bhakkar 21mm, Sialkot airport 16mm, Mangla 15mm, Islamabad airport 11mm, Jhelum 6mm, Gilgit and Hunza 5mm (each), Skardu, Kotli and Rawalakot 4mm (each) and Mirkhani 3mm.
The Met office forecast that it would remain partly cloudy with chances of thunderstorm/rain in Lahore in 24 hours.Scattered thunderstorm/rain was expected over Lower Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Isolated thunderstorm/rain was expected over Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Upper Sindh and Northeast Balochistan.
Our Sialkot correspondent adds: Thirteen villages were inundated and standing crops on hundreds of acres of land were damaged near Bajwat and Chaprar after an overnight surge in the flooded Chenab and Tavi rivers.