22 die as rain, floods batter KP, Punjab

Intikhab Hanif | Zulfiqar Ali PESHAWAR/LAHORE: At least 22 people were killed and over 60 others injured as widespread downpour and flash floods wreaked havoc in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on Wednesday. The Pakistan Meteorolo­gical Department issued an alert for glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) in Chitral district and asked the authorities concerned to adopt precautionary measures. On July 2, flash floods claimed 29 lives in Chitral. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said in a statement that three people lost their lives in Abbottabad and two in Upper Dir in rain-related incidents. Three people were injured in the two districts. It said two houses in Haripur and one residential quarter in Abbottabad collapsed. Flash floods killed a man and his wife near Shamlay Kali in Battagram district. According to officials, the couple was crossing a watercourse when a violent current swept them away. Local people recovered their bodies. The Met office said widespread rains lashed Mala­kand, Hazara, Peshawar and Mardan divisions while southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its adjacent tribal areas received light rains. Abbottabad town received 90mm of rainfall, Malam Jabba — a tourist resort in Swat district — 44mm, Pesha­war 20mm, Risalpur 21mm, Cherat 19mm, Kohat 2mm, Saidu Sharif 9mm, Dir 9mm and Pattan 18mm. Heavy rains brought the temperature down in the region, but Peshawar experienced an extremely humid weather. Five people, two women among them, died and 17 others suffered injuries when a passenger van plunged into a deep ravine in the Nakka Kalley area of Orakzai agency. The van going to Hangu from Sattarsam skidded during heavy rain while negotiating a sharp turn. The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital. Floodwater in Wari sub-division of Upper Dir swept away a boy and a girl. According to Wari police, three children, identified as Talha, Khuzeefa and Saad Khan, were on their way home from a bazaar in the area. They were crossing a stream when the floodwater swept them away. Local residents, however, succeeded in rescuing Saad. The bodies of the other two were later recovered. Sahibabad police recovered the body of a girl who drowned in a stream in Narhand Khwar area. The body was shifted to Wari hospital for identification. Life was paralysed in Abbottabad district, where three people were killed and three others injured in rain-related incidents. Damage to properties was also reported in parts of Galiyat and Abbottabad city. Power supply was disrupted in different areas of the district. Roof of the house of one Mohammad Yousaf caved in, killing his two sons — 12-year-old Ihsanullah and seven-year-old Imranullah. His wife Zulekha Bibi was taken to the DHQ Hospital, Abbottabad, with injuries Fifteen-year-old Noor Bibi was buried alive after the roof of her house collapsed in Lora area. It started raining on Tuesday night and continued till Wednesday afternoon. Several houses collapsed in Bilal Town, Hassan Town, PMA Kakul road, Sethi Masjid locality and Narian area. Heavy rain lashed northeast Punjab from Lahore to Rawalpindi, leaving seven people dead and 38 others wounded. Regional tributaries of River Chenab swelled after the rainfall in the Sialkot region. The Met department forecast medium to high flood in the region over the next 24 hours. A peak of high to very high flood is expected in River Jhelum [upstream Mangla] and medium to high in River Chenab during this period. Rain was caused by the combination of a westerly wave and very strong monsoon current penetrating upper and central parts of the country up to 7,000 feet. Heavy to moderate rain was also reported from some cities in Azad Kashmir. The worst hit was Gujranwala where the Met department reported a record 199mm of rain by 8pm. Its highest-ever recorded rain in a single day is 130mm and monthly average 200mm. Four people were killed in Sialkot and two in Gujrat in rain-related incidents. Over 20 people were injured in the two cities and in Gujranwala. One person was killed and 18 others were injured in rain-related incidents in Rawalpindi. Naeem Raza, a 35-year-old poultry worker, died after the roof of his room collapsed during heavy downpour. Fifteen passengers were injured when a tree fell on a Mansehra-bound bus near Rawat. According to the Met department, Gujrat received 158mm of rain (also a record), Sialkot (Cantt 123mm, airport 110mm), Rawalpindi (Chaklala 88mm, Shamsabad 84), Islamabad (Golra 88mm, Z.P. 85mm, Bokra 60mm, Saidpur 33mm), Jhelum 77mm, Mangla 74mm, Murree 56mm, Mandi Bahauddin 55mm, Joharabad 54mm, Sargodha 49mm, Chakwal 29mm and Kakul 79mm. Rain lashed Lahore in the late afternoon after dark clouds created premature darkness. Streets turned into rivulets, especially in the downtown where rain was heavy than in other parts of the city. Inundated roads unleashed traffic jams and travelling by the dug route of the Metro train was hazardous. Power supply was another major victim of rain. The Met office recorded 68mm of rain in Misri Shah, 60mm at Lakshmi Chowk and 35mm in Gulberg. The Met department forecast rain-thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds with isolated heavy falls at a number of places in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Faisalabad and Sahiwal divisions, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, Fata and Kashmir on Thursday and Friday. Scattered rain was also expected in Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Zhob, Kalat, Nasirabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur divisions and Gilgit-Baltistan. The expected heavy downpour may cause flash floods and landslides in the vulnerable areas of Punjab, KP, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.