SIALKOT: At least six people lost their lives after heavy rains and strong winds lashed Sargodha and Sialkot districts during the last 24 hours. The rain affected communication systems after electricity remained suspended for hours in urban and rural areas.
Rescue officials told Express News that the roof of a house collapsed in Vigowal Village due to the rains. This resulted in the death of Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Hayat, Ali Akbar and Samreen Bibi.
In another incident, the roof of a house in Kot Raja area caved in due to rains which resulted in the death of Amir and his son Mukhtar, while three others, including Sakina Bibi and Azra Bibi suffered critical injuries. The injured were shifted to District Headquarter Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Majority of the low-lying urban and rural areas in the district were inundated, paralysing social activity. The cool breeze and rain provided relief to people from the hot and dry weather which had continued for the past few weeks.
Local residents blamed the district administration for negligence after all the main roads, including Shahab Pura Road, Roras Road, the congested Allama Iqbal Chowk, Dara Araian, Defence Road, Fatah Garh Road etc were submerged in rainwater. As a result, commuters were stranded in traffic jams for hours as rainwater accumulated on major thoroughfares.
The heavy downpour also disrupted power in several areas while several complaints were registered on the power utility’s toll free number.
Complaints of tripping of feeders were also reported in some areas however, electricity was restored after a few hours.
Meanwhile, traffic chaos was witnessed in many cities due to the rainfall.
Earlier, Met Office Spokesperson Khalid Mahmood Malik said “This year, Pakistan has experienced the hottest summer as compared to previous years. Temperatures remained two to three degrees above normal.”
Chances are high that the country will experience two to three spells of showers which will bring respite from the intense heat, he said.
Malik maintained that in 2018, the southern half of the country experienced slightly higher temperatures compared to the north. He said that it is also expected that pre-monsoon showers in catchment areas will help improve water levels in Mangla and Tarbela dams; the two major water reservoirs if the country. “In last few months, both reached critical level,” the spokesman concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2018.