Rainwater entered the premises of Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Holy Family Hospital, residential houses in low lying areas as heavy downpour with gusty winds lashed the twin cities and adjoining areas early Friday. It took several hours, before the airport authorities were able to drain out the rainwater from the departure lounge, creating inconvenience for passengers as their luggage was completely drenched.
Reports said that the rain water also entered in the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi including in the exclusively established Dengue wart. Dengue patients were advised not to come down from the beds.
The rainwater also entered houses and streets of Rawalpindi’s low-lying areas and accumulated in markets, causing losses to shopkeepers.
In Jamia Masjid area of the city, shopkeepers were forced to take out water from their stores on their own.Residential areas of Nadeem Colony, Sadiqabad, Dhoke Kashmirian and Khybane Sir Syed were also flooded and water entered the residential houses damaging households of poor people. The rain also disrupted electricity supply in both the cities, which could not be restored in several localities for hours.
Army troops were put on alert in Rawalpindi and were seen on the streets to respond instantly to rescue calls.
The Nullah Leh, a stream which runs through the garrison city, rose to 17 feet level and a rain emergency was declared. However after two hours, the rain stopped and the water level fell down swiftly.
Boundary wall of government college satellite town also collapsed but fortunately no loss of life was reported.
In Lahore, several areas of the city, including major arteries, were inundated due to the rain. Jinnah Hospital’s out-door, emergency and other wards were also flooded with rainwater after the heavy rains.
Teams of the Water and Sanitation Agency said they are working to drain the accumulated rainwater from the city’s streets. Two labourers died and another injured when roof of a workshop collapsed here on Friday.
Rescue sources said that roof of a workshop located at Band Road, Lahore suddenly came down due to heavy rain. Three labourers were buried under roof of which 2 identified as Falak Sher and Hamza died on the spot while another Liaqat was injured. The rescue personnel pulled out the bodies and injured from the debris and shifted them to hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif taking urgent notice of the failure of the authorities to drain out water, directed the high officials to ensure no standing water is left in Rawalpindi, Lahore and other areas affected by the rain. According to Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), Chaklala and Shamsabad areas of Rawalpindi received 72mm, 54mm rainfall respectively; meanwhile, in Islamabad: Golra received 36mm and Zero Point area received 22mm rainfall.
The PMD in its weather forecast for next 24 hours predicted that rain-thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds is expected at scattered places in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Mardan divisions), upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Lahore divisions), Islamabad, FATA and Kashmir. Rain-thunderstorm with gusty winds is also expected at isolated places in Gilgit-Baltistan, Bannu, Faisalabad and Sahiwal divisions.—INP