Rains claim 39 lives across Pakistan


–At least 10 people killed in Punjab, 11 in Balochistan, five in Sindh, 13 in KP and tribal districts, over 80 houses damaged

–Farmers hapless as rains and hailstorms destroy crops in Sindh and Punjab 

–Met Office forecasts more rainfall 


LAHORE: At least 39 people were killed and 135 got injured as rains and thunderstorms continue to wreak havoc in parts of Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The rainfall and hailstorms lashing the country for the past two days have also damaged houses and crops in addition to submerging streets across Pakistan and leaving people without power in several areas.

According to a breakdown given by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 10 people were killed in Punjab, 11 in Balochistan, five in Sindh, 13 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal districts. The rains also left scores injured: 56 in Punjab; 50 in Sindh; 5 in Balochistan; and 21 in KP.

On the other hand, heavy rainfall also damaged at least 80 houses across the country. Three houses were destroyed in Punjab, 52 in Balochistan, 25 in KP and tribal districts; however, there were no reports of damaged houses in Sindh.

In Punjab, at least three children were killed and five others were injured when the roof of a house collapsed due to rain on Wednesday.

According to Rescue 1122 sources, the “dilapidated roof suddenly came down in Haveli Lakha area of tehsil Depalpur in district Okara on Wednesday morning”, leaving three dead on the spot.

In a similar incident in Gujranwala, five members of a family, including three women and two children, received injuries in a roof collapse. Rescue sources said that heavy rain followed by a wind storm lashed different areas of Gujranwala, leaving the house susceptible to a collapse in the Kashmir Colony.

In Lahore, low-lying areas were inundated owing to heavy rainfall that started on Tuesday night. Roads and underpasses were flooded, and flight operations at the Allama Iqbal International Airport were also affected. The heavy downpour also resulted in power outages in some areas.

Meanwhile, a Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) spokesperson said that heavy rains caused an interruption in power supply, leaving 110 feeders broken.

“Sargodha, Tandlianwala, Sammundri, Gojra, Jhang and adjacent areas also faced power shortage,” the spokesperson added.

Power outages were also experienced in KP.

In a statement, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) said as many as 211 feeders tripped due to rain. By the evening, the company had managed to restore 109 feeders while work on remaining feeders was underway, the spokesperson said.

The unexpected rains also affected wheat, mango and other crops at a time of harvest. In Sindh, hundreds of acres of crops have been damaged while Punjab might lose 2 million tonnes of wheat due to this weather. Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar were among the areas that faced most losses.

As torrential rains continue to make life hell for people, especially farmers, the Met Office says the current spell will last for at least next 48 hours.

“More rain along with dust storms and thunderstorms are expected in different areas of Punjab, Islamabad, KP and Azad Kashmir,” it said.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar says that all resources should be spent to tackle continued heavy rains in the different parts of the province. He directed the concerned authorities to ensure their presence in the field to facilitate the people promptly.

While Balochistan faces a rain emergency amid flash floods since last week, Rescue 1122 has issued an alert about heavy rain and storm in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the next 48 hours. Balochistan’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority spokesperson told Radio Pakistan that Kacchi was the most affected district in the province.

KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has directed the authorities concerned to ensure preventive measures in the wake of heavy rains.

In the last 24 hours, the MET office has recorded 57mm rain in Islamabad, 24mm rain in Rawalpindi, 43mm rain in Lahore, 40mm in Gujranwala and 16mm in Peshawar.