Four dead, 22 in­jured as heavy pre-mon­soon spell lashes Pun­jab

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - STAFF RE­PORTER

LA­HORE—Heavy rain lashed dif­fer­ent towns and cities of the Pun­jab in­clud­ing La­hore on Wed­nes­day, killing at least four peo­ple and in­jur­ing 22 others in sev­eral rain-linked ac­ci­dents. Rain in La­hore and other areas of Pun­jab has been par­tic­u­larly heavy since morn­ing on Wed­nes­day.

Dark and thick clouds gath­ered above La­hore dur­ing the wee hours of the day and mas­sive rain­fall was re­ported across the city and the ad­join­ing areas. Flights had ei­ther been can­celled or de­layed at the Al­lama Iqbal In­ter­na­tional Air­port La­hore. A num­ber of low ly­ing areas were flooded with wa­ter while sev­eral roads were un­der knee deep wa­ter.

In Jhang, at least two peo­ple died and four suf­fered in­juries from elec­tro­cu­tion, while in Bhakkar, a woman and a child lost their lives while 12 have been in­jured in sep­a­rate rain-linked ac­ci­dents.

At least four peo­ple have been in­jured in Thokar Niaz Beg area of La­hore af­ter the roof of their house col­lapsed. Wall of an un­der con­structed build­ing fell in the area of Ferozepur Road in­jur­ing two per­sons while an­other ac­ci­dent in­jured one more in Mandi Ba­haud­din. Heavy rain was re­ported in Faisal­abad, Gu­jran­wala, Sialkot, and Sheikhupura in Pun­jab af­ter which low­land areas com­pletely sub­merged un­der rain wa­ter.

Sev­eral feed­ers also tripped across the prov­ince, leav­ing peo­ple with­out elec­tric­ity for sev­eral hours.

Ac­cord­ing to the Di­rec­tor Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment Dr Muham­mad Hanif, parts of the coun­try have en­tered into a pre-mon­soon sea­son which would end af­ter two days. How­ever, he also in­formed that a new mon­soon spell would be­gin from next week.

Fear­ing that a rel­a­tively heavy mon­soon would hit the coun­try this year, Dr Hanif said, “at least 80mil­lime­tre rain in La­hore is an in­di­ca­tion of the strong mon­soon this year”. He said heavy rains could pos­si­bly cause floods in some areas. Mon­soon in Karachi and other parts of Sindh would be­gin in the first week of July, Dr Hanif added.

Mean­while, Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (NDMA) Chair­man Ma­jor Gen­eral As-ghar Nawaz Wed­nes­day di­rected timely stock­pil­ing of re­quired re­lief items es­pe­cially at dis­trict level and completion of on­go­ing flood pro­tec­tion schemes, be­side a need for con­tin­u­ous and vig­i­lant mon­i­tor­ing of flood sit­u­a­tion.

Dis­cus­sions also in­cluded op­er­a­tional mat­ters as re­lated to the dis­as­ter man­age­ment at pro­vi­sional level. The NDMA Chair­man as­sured all pos­si­ble sup­port to the pro­vin­cial author­i­ties. The com­pre­hen­sive process closely su­per­vised by the NDMA Chair­man cul­mi­nated into the Na­tional Mon­soon Pre­pared­ness Con­fer­ence held on June 9 at Islamabad. Re­sul­tantly, a Na­tional Mon­soon Con­tin­gency Re­sponse Di­rec­tive 2016 was for­mu­lated.

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