Torrential rain wreaks havoc in twin cities

Rawalpindi – Torrential rain hit the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Tuesday increasing the water level in Nullah Leh, Soan River and other seasonal nullahs to a dangerous level and inundating the low-lying areas.

Some 11 persons including children were trapped in flooded Soan River in Gorakhpur. A senior officer of Rescue 1122 said that the trapped persons were rescued with the help of boats. Meanwhile, the rain also washed away roads and streets in many areas besides causing traffic jams. Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Muhammad Bin Ashraf constituted special squads to ease the traffic flow.

Normal life was disrupted and the power supply was suspended in many areas.

The two units of 111 brigade of Pakistan Army were put on high alert to deal with any emergency while the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), District administration and Rescue 1122 were also put on high alert. The Nullah Leh rose 15 feet at Gowalmandi Bridge and 17 feet at Kattarian Bridge. Continues rain forced the local administration to issue pre-alert flood warning in the city so that the people around Nullah Leh could move to a safer place.

Roads and streets became large pools of water causing damage to vehicles and posing a difficulty to the commuters. In many parts of the city and cantonment, traffics signal went out of order.

The strong spell of rain exposed the performance of civic bodies. The sewer system in downtown and the area adjacent to Leh Nullah choked causing the water to enter houses and shops.

The rain water accumulated at Committee Chowk Underpass and the road was closed for the traffic. The WASA installed water sucking machines at underpass and on other main roads to drain out the water.

In the low lying areas, the residents spent sleepless night draining the water out of their houses. The sewerage water also entered the basement of Holy Family Hospital and created trouble for the patients.

As many as 11 people trapped in Soan River near Adiala Jail were rescued by Rescue 1122. Most of the trapped persons were working on tube wells of Punajb Employees Housing Society. Rescue 1122 District Emergency Officer Dr Abdul Rehman told media rescuers rescued 8 men, a woman and two children trapped in Soan River at Gorakhpur. Boats were used by rescuers to evacuated the trapped persons, he said.

Similarly, the water level was also high at a seasonal Nullah flowing in Kalyal disconnecting land connection between Adiala and Jorian.

However, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood said that the heavy rain fall in catchments of Leh Nullah in Islamabad is the main reason of the flash flood in Leh Nullah.

“More than 80 percent water and sewerage came in nullah from Islamabad. In capital city, 168 mm rain was recorded at Saidpur,” he said.

He said that WASA removed all the hurdles and the receding of water within two hours proved that the obstacles had been removed.

On the other hand, the residents of low lying areas said that the local authorities had not taken the requisite preventive steps. “One can see the heaps of garbage and construction material waste along Leh Nullah which caused flood in the nullah,” said Zamir Khan, a resident of Gowalmandi.

Muhammad Farooq, a resident of Khyban-e-Sir Syed, said that the people had no confidence in the local administration and they were shifting their valuable goods to upper storey of their houses to ensure the safety of them from rain water.

Nahim Khan, a resident of Fauji Colony, said, “Every year, we shifted to the upper storey of our house before the monsoon as a preventive measure”. He said that the rain water had destroyed their household items many times and mourned that he had no money to shift to another locality. According to Met Office, the twin cities have received 200 mm rain.

More rain is being expected in upcoming days, the officials of Met Office said.


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