LAHORE - Parts of the country received downpour on Saturday, bringing life to a standstill by causing urban flooding, frequent power shutdowns and massive traffic jams.The Meteorological Department forecast widespread rain-thundershowers for KPK (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, DI Khan divisions), Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, DG Khan divisions) and Kashmir and scattered rain-thunderstorm for northeast Balochistan, Gilgit-Balistan, upper and south eastern Sindh during the next couple of days.  Isolated heavy falls are also expected at a few places of Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, DGKhan, Kohat, Bannu and DIK divisions. The rains started Friday night and continued intermittently throughout the day on Saturday, disturbing routine life as the rainwater inundated roads not only in low-lying areas but also in several posh localities.  Inundated rainwater and slippery conditions of roads caused massive traffic jams in urban areas. The rains coupled with windstorm, however, made the weather pleasant by causing considerable decrease in temperature and relative humidity. In Lahore, strong winds started blowing late Friday night that followed by heavy rains, submerging roads and streets not only in low lying areas but also in posh localities into knee deep water. Cloud bursts on Saturday morning added to the woes of motorists and pedestrians by causing more inundation of rainwater in every nook and corner of Lahore. Heavy rains smashed to the ground tall claims of Wasa regarding its preparation for the rainy season as it took hours to the premier sanitation agency to clear roads from inundated rainwater. Major roads, not only in Northern Lahore but also in several posh localities, were presenting pictures of lakes and ponds even hours after stoppage of rains. Many roads were not cleared from inundated rainwater even until filing of this report. The rains added to the woes and miseries of motorists and pedestrians. Many vehicles and motorcycles were seen broken down in various parts of the City. Massive traffic jams were witnessed at major City roads due to inundation of rainwater. Several incidents of skidding of motorcycles were also reported from various parts of the City. Main Boulevard Gulberg, Lakshami Chowk, Garhi Shahu, Chowk Nakhuda, Mozang, Tharenten Road, Revaz Garden, Chuburji, Aziz Road, Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Hameed Nizami Road, Zeldar Road, Ghazi Road, Samanabad, Main Boulevard Iqbal Town, Wahdat Colony, Rehman Pura, Railway Road, Shadbagh, Circular Road, Saidpur, Shahnoor, Scheme Mor, Sabzazar, Abbot Road, Montgomery Road, Gawalmandi, Data Nagar, Abdul Karim Road, inside Delhi Gate, Masti Gate, R A Bazar, Nishat Colony, Tajpura, Mughalpura, Maskeen Pura and Joray Pul were the worst affected areas as far as inundation of rainwater in concerned. On Saturday, maximum and minimum temperature in the City was recorded 28 degree Celsius and 19 C respectively. Relative humidity in the evening was recorded 69 percent. People come out of their houses in the evening to enjoy pleasant change in weather after the heavy monsoon rains. Major parks and picnic spots attracted a large number of people including women and children in the evening. Huge rush was witnessed at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Racecourse Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Jallo Park and Lahore Zoo in the evening. According to the experts, a westerly wave is affecting upper parts of the country. Seasonal low lies over northeast Balochistan and adjoining areas. On Saturday, TT Singh received 49 mm rain, Mianwali 43 mm, Rawalakot 42 mm, Jhelum 39 mm, Murree 38 mm, Kotli 37 mm, Jhang 30 mm, Bannu and Sahiwal 29 mm each, Okara 24 mm, Joharabad and Noorpurthal 22 mm each, Sialkot 21 mm, Islamabad and Bahawalnagar 18 mm each, Kakul 17 mm, Faisalabad 15 mm, Rawalpindi 14 mm, Mangala and Pattan 12 mm each, Faisalabad and Okara15 mm each, Bahawalnagar 13 mm, Badin and Sargodha 09 mm each, Malamjabba and Balakot 07 mm each, Saidushrif 06 mm, Mitthi 05 mm and Chitral, Kalam and Gharidupata 04 mm each.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 16-Jun-2013 here.