Several people were killed and injured in roof collapses as heavy rain inundated parts of the city and the roads on Sunday afternoon.
The Met Office reported that 31mm of rain fell in the city and 26mm at the airport on Sunday and forecast more heavy rain in the coming days as the monsoon season progresses.
Two children and a woman were killed when the roof of a house collapsed in Batapur, trapping a family of six under the rubble. They were pulled out after a two-hour rescue effort. Parveen Bibi, 58, Umme Umaima, 2, and six-month-old Umme Habiba were later declared dead in hospital. Doctors said that the rest of the family Misbah, Neelam and Madiha – was out of danger.
A man and his teenage daughter were killed as he visited his sister in Misri Shah police jurisdiction. Police said that the roof of a house near the 7Up Factory in Gulberg caved in at around 2pm, while Muhammad Saleem Butt, 45, was visiting his sister Saima along with his kids Sana, 13, and Sheharyar, 15. They were pulled from the rubble and taken to Mayo Hospital, where Butt and his daughter were declared dead.
Nusrat Bibi, 53, Shahzad, 60, Goga, 30, and Muhammad Maqsood, 50, were injured after the roofs of two houses in Ichhra and Canal View Society collapsed. Several areas were inundated with rainwater, with residents blaming the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) for not making appropriate arrangements. In Badami Bagh, several animals died due to electric shocks from electricity poles and naked wires.
Some people were shocked too. Residents said that the incidents caused widespread panic and they had contacted Wasa and the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), but neither body had sent people to the area to solve the problem.
Many vehicles broke down on the roads because of the standing water. Muhammad Mustaqim’s car broke down on Bahwalpur Road, where he was left stranded for several hours. He blamed Wasa, saying the agency claimed each year that it had prepared plans for the monsoon, yet each year the city’s roads were flooded.
Muneer Baba, 53, was seen pushing his rickshaw to a workshop after it broke down near Do Moria Pul. “Mechanics are charging too much to fix vehicles which break down on the roads,” he said. Water also accumulated at Lakshmi Chowk, the General Post Office, Nisbet Road, McLeod Road, Shadbagh, Gulberg, Gaddafi Stadium, Multan Road Chungi, Islampura, Mozang, Samanabad, Sanda, Shamnagar, Sherakot and the underpasses on Canal Bank Road.
Wasa Managing Director Dr Javed Iqbal told The Express Tribune later on Sunday that the water had been drained from most areas and workers were currently clearing up Lakshami Chowk and adjoining areas. He said that he had received no complaint about the situation in Badami Bagh.
The rain put some families in a festive mood. Public places including markets and restaurants were packed with people enjoying the cooler weather. Muhammad Imran visited Liberty Market with his wife and kids for some snacks. “We go out for samosas whenever it rains,” he said.
Some youths even played cricket as it rained at Linear Park in Model Town. “The losers will pay for the samosas at the end,” said one of the players.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2011.