RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD – The torrential rain and hailstorm accompanied by gusty wind created troubles for citizens, inundated roads, streets and low-lying areas, causing power outages and massive traffic jams in the city here on Wednesday.

Similarly, the water level at seasonal nullahs as well as Nullah Leh rose, sending shockwaves to those residing at the banks. Reportedly two people drowned into Nullah at Kalma Chowk, however, the Rescue 1122 divers fished out both the victims alive and shifted them to nearby hospital for medical treatment. The rainwater also entered the hospitals damaging the machinery and other instruments.

The business activities in various parts of the city remained low while the sale of chicken soup, pakoras, samosas, dry fruits and tea and coffee was high as huge rush of customers could be witnessed outside the outlets.

According to Met Officer officials, the rain and wind brought down temperatures from 15 degrees Celsius minimum to 9 degrees Celsius minimum. In Rawalpindi 36mm rain was recorded, the Met Office officials told TheNation.

Heavy rain that started in wee hours remained continued till 10:30am inundating the streets and roads of Dhamial, Hayyal, Chakri, Sihal, Chihan, Kohala, Jorian, Quaidazam Colony, Ahmed Abad, Bakra Mandi, Dheri Hassan Abad, Lalkurti, Kalma Chowk, Tahli Mohri, Baraf Khana Chowk, Girja Road, Chungi Number 22, Tench Bhatta, Chakra, Peshawar Road, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Dhoke Ratta, Dhoke Mangtal, Raja Bazaar, City Saddar Road, Ganjmandi, Gawalmandi, Iqbal Road, Committee Chowk, Murre Road, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Jhanda Cheechi, Airport Road, Gulzar-e-Quaid, Dhoke Laliyal, Khana Band Road, Muslim Town, Haji Chowk, Sadiqabad, Transformer Chowk, Kuri Road, Shakriyal, Dhoke Kala Khan, Double Road, Food Street of Cricket Stadium and its adjacent areas, triggering massive traffic block, causing troubles for commuters and pedestrians. The rain water also entered into the house located in aforementioned localities inflicting heavy loss to precious house holds.

The under construction Pirwadhai Flyover, Mareer Chowk Tunnel and the incomplete service roads of 6 th Road Flyover were also filled with rain water. This also blocked traffic for hours.

It was a bad day for motorists as they had to steer through hailstorm making driving a nightmare and causing thick traffic jams at several places. The wind also blew water tanks, Satellite Dishes, tin rooftops on mud houses in Faizabad, Dhoke Ratta, Dhoke Hassu, Fauji Colony, Pirwadhai, Dhoke Chiraghdin, Nadeem Colony and areas along Nullah Leh away.

The heavy rain raised the water level at Leh Nullah. The nullah rose to 12 feet at Gowalmandi and 13 feet at Katarian Bridge at IJ Principal Road.

As a result, the low-lying areas along flooded with rainwater. The mostly people spent restless day in fear of flood in nullah but the water receded in evening. However, in inner parts of the city, the people through out busy in draining rainwater from their houses especially at Iqbal Road, College Road, Gowalmandi, Mohanpura, Ratta, Ghazni Road and others.

The rainwater also entered the basement of Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and newly constructed Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC). The sewerage water at HFH and RIC entered in the buildings and created problem for the patients and staff.

At Holy Family Hospital (HFH), the basement, which housed X-Ray department, laboratory, burn unit and mortuary, flooded with sewerage water. The administration searched the main hurdle and found that main cause of water accumulation was the mesh installed at main drain which discharged in Leh Nullah to stop entering rats and rodents.

It took eight hours to hospital staff to clear the sewerage water from the basement. As a result, the staff stopped conducting X-rays and laboratory tests for one day and referred the patients to outside the hospital to private laboratories.

At Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) opted to close down the main gates of the hospital and did not allow the patients to Outdoor Patients as the knee deep water. “The Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) is working on construction of Nullah to drain sewerage from the hospital but it is on slow pace,” said an official of the hospital.

APP adds: Continuous rain in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi led to chaos and traffic woes for commuters and pedestrians on Wednesday.

Due to heavy rain, most of the city traffic signals and intersections including Zero Point, Aapbara, Garden Avenue, Air Port Chowk and others witnessed traffic jams. The rainwater made the roads muddy and slippery, particularly near the Zero Point Interchange and

Fail minor accidents in different parts of the city, especially involving motorcyclists. Most of them slipped while saving themselves from splashes of water caused by speeding vehicles. Motorists complained that potholes appear on roads during the rainy season, which cause accidents and traffic jams.

When contacted to traffic police Islamabad, official said that Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) is taking every possible step to save the lives of the citizens and provide them safe road environment.