Two pass on as rains cause metropolitan flooding in capital

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A woman and her son died on Wednesday after flash floods caused by overnight rain swept through several streets and houses in E-11, damaging vehicles and properties.

On the opposite hand, the Met Office predicted more rains in Potohar region on Thursday.

Talking to Dawn, residents of E-11/3 said illegal construction on the bank of a nullah had narrowed its width, hampering water flow and causing it to swell.

Because of the gushing floodwaters, the wall of a house, located in street 2 of the world collapsed, which resulted within the drowning of a lady and her son.

A family of 5 was residing there, out of whom three were rescued.

A man introducing himself because the domestic of the family told Dawn that actually three families lived within the house.

“The five-member family of Kashif Bajwa resided within the basement while his mother lived on the mezzanine and his elder brother and his family on the primary storey,” he said.

At the time of the incident, Mr Bajwa’s wife, two sons and daughter were within the basement, he said, adding that floodwater filled the basement within seconds trapping the family.

However, two of them climbed on to cupboards, the domestic said, adding that Maria Bibi and her nine-year-old son were caught in a frenzy . Anaya and Abdullah were later rescued.

The remaining inmates have shifted to G-10, he said.

In a video, one among the residents of the house are often seen complaining to officials of the police and capital administration about the delay in rescue work and dewatering the basement.

The resident is heard saying, “the incident happened at 6:30am and now it’s 11:30am and you (officials) are still claiming the machinery is coming”.

Another man, who introduced himself as Abdullah, said he saw three vehicles – Honda Civic, Toyota Grande and Passo – being caught in a frenzy within the floodwater and falling into a nullah.

Traders also found the basements of their plazas crammed with water. They also complained about the late arrival of rescue workers and machinery to empty the basements.

Rawalpindi

Heavy rain raised the water level in Leh Nullah and also inundated low-lying areas within the garrison city, forcing the tiny Dams Organisation to open spillways of Rawal Dam.

Army personnel, who had been called in to affect any quite emergency, were stationed in Gawalmandi, Murree Road and other areas.

Water level in Leh Nullah was recorded up to 21 feet in Kattarian and 17 feet in Gawalmandi, compelling the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and district administration to issue warning to residents living along its to shift to safer places.

According to the Met Office, 123mm of rain was recorded in Saidpur, 77mm at zero , 107mm in Golra, 23mm in Bokra while Islamabad International Airport and its surrounding areas received 16mm of rain. Similarly, rain recorded in Rawalpindi’s Shamsabad area was 34 mm and 36mm in Chaklala.

In his tweet, Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Hamza Shafqaat said: “Cloudburst in Islamabad has caused flooding in various areas. Teams are clearing nullahs/roads. Hopefully we’ll be ready to clear everything in an hour.” Later, the DC announced that Islamabad roads were clear for traffic.

Pakistan Meteorological Department, on the opposite hand, denied that it had been a cloudburst.

In a statement, the PMD spokesman said: “It is to clarify that the weather system was forecast earlier vide weather advisory issued by PMD on July 26 and was disseminated to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and print and electronic media. This was extensive heavy rainfall and can’t be termed a cloudburst.”

He said Islamabad and its surrounding areas received heavy downpour of monsoon during the morning hours from 5am to 6:30am while light rain continued within the surrounding areas till night. things of Leh Nullah at Kattarian and Gawalmandi is returning back to normal, he added.

Meanwhile, after getting approval from the local administration, the Rawal Dam management on Wednesday night opened spillways to discharge additional water.

The official told Dawn that water level of the dam had crossed the limit of 1,752 feet after which the management opened the spillways.

Wasa director Raja Shaukat Mehmood, meanwhile, said the local administration was monitoring the water level at Leh Nullah.

He said Wasa had moved machinery to rain-affected areas to pump out water from roads and streets, adding that till afternoon, water was drained out and other people started plying on roads and streets with none fear.

All roads within the city including Pirwadhai, Moti Mahal and Committee Chowk underpasses were flooded while rainwater entered several houses and shops in Bohar Bazaar, Moti Bazaar, Sadiqabad, Javed Colony, Arya Mohallah, Chandni Chowk, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Nadeem Colony, Commercial Market, Jamia Masjid Road, Murree Road and other localities.

However, water level in Soan River remained normal within the morning but after the spillways were opened, the extent increased, and water entered houses in low-lying areas along the banks of Soan River.

The last devastating flood that Leh Nullah witnessed was on July 23, 2001. Just a couple of hours of 620mm of rain resulted within the worst floods within the city’s history during which 35 people were killed and lots of slums were caught in a frenzy .

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed amid Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah and Deputy Commissioner Aamir Aqiq Khan visited Gawalmandi to examine the arrangements to avoid flood.

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