City still inundated as rain casualties rise

Three minors killed as yet another roof caves in

Afzal Talib July 27, 2019
Rainwater accumulates in the family area of the Greater Iqbal Park after heavy rains. PHOTO: ONLINE

LAHORE: The after effects of Thursday’s rain continued to be felt in the city as three minor siblings were killed in a roof collapse, while standing water left several low-lying areas inundated.

Police said a couple and their eight children were asleep in a one-room house. After midnight, the roof collapsed and the victims were trapped under the debris. Hearing the roof collapse and the screams of the victims, locals rushed to the spot.

The neighbours also informed rescue teams, which reached the spot to remove the debris. The victims were evacuated and taken to a nearby hospital. Police said three minor siblings, identified as Khurram, 6, Haroon, 8 and Sania, 10, died in the incident. Meanwhile, their mother Razia Bibi and her other son, Roheel, 9, suffered injuries. Doctors said Razia was in critical condition as she had suffered severe injuries.

Roheel told the media that he was watching television at night when water started to leak from the roof.  He added that after a few moments, the roof fell on them. Ten members of the family were present in the house at the time of the incident.

A relative of the victims said that they were living in a house which was in dilapidated condition. He said that the head of the family works as a labourer and could not afford higher rents.

Still swamped

Water accumulated on roads and various localities could not be drained, especially from low lying areas such as parks. According to the Met Department, monsoon rains are expected from July 27 to July 31.

WASA also issued a red alert and officials from other departments have been deployed to drain standing water from the city. Monsoon rains continued all over the country, including Lahore.

During the second spell of rains on Thursday, low-lying areas, highways and parks were flooded with water, thus severely affecting routine life. Several commuters faced severe traffic problems.

Although an entire day has passed, the water still remains standing. Locals claimed that the Parks and Horticulture Authority and WASA had taken no action to drain out water from these areas and parks.

Reports have suggested that there was still a lot of water accumulated near Bundar Road, Badami Bagh, Khokhar Pind, Shadbagh, Mehmood Boti, Shafiqabad, Ganj Kalan, Gulshan Ravi, Tajpura, Thokar Niaz Baig and other areas. Some major parks of the city where water was still standing included Gulshan Iqbal, Greater Iqbal Park, Minar-e-Pakistan, Jallu Park, Jillani Park, Model Town Park, Gulshan Ravi and Lawrence Garden.

Water And Sanitation Authority (WASA) Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz said that all safety arrangements have been completed and a red alert issued.  The holidays of all employees have been cancelled and alternative arrangements have been made to drain out rainwater.

He maintained that the water was drained out after a few hours of heavy and continuous rain. Lahore Division Commissioner Asif Bilal Lodhi directed all assistant commissioners to visit the field and make sure standing water was drained out.

He said all highways have been cleared, while there is the need for a quick check on small roads. “Action must be taken on information provided by citizens.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2019.


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