Downpour death toll rises to six in Islamabad

Two children were swept away by flood water in a rain drain near sector G-10 in Islamabad on Friday.

Zahid Gishkori July 30, 2010

Two children were swept away by flood water in a rain drain near sector G-10 in Islamabad on Friday. In-charge of Rescue 1122 Muhammad Ramzan told

The Express Tribune that the children were on their way to a nearby mosque. “We have been unable to find their bodies yet,” he said.

The death toll in the past three days, in incidents related  to torrential rains, now stands at six. Although Islamabad suffered an intense downpour on Wednesday and Thursday, there was no rainfall on Friday.

Four people died on Thursday night when two mud houses collapsed.

One house collapsed in Nilour on the outskirts of Islamabad, killing two people. Another mud house crumbled in sector I-10, killing a woman and her child, according to Ramzan. At least 22 more people were injured in separate rain-related incidents since Wednesday.

Moreover, at least 14 mud houses and 11 shops and hotels were completely wiped out during the incessant rain in the rural and urban areas of Islamabad, according to the city managers.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ahmad Ali said that people in low-lying areas had been directed to shift to relief camps set up in areas around the rain drains.

Rescue 1122 In-charge Muhammad Ramzan said that 16 rescue vehicles, belonging to Rescue 1122 and other fire and rescue services, were operating throughout Islamabad since Wednesday. He added that intense rain had “wreaked havoc” in Nullah Leh, Swan Garden, Pakistan Town, Madina Town, Sector E-11, Bhara Kahu, Khana Pul, Tarnol and Koral Chowk.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chaired a meeting on Friday to review the performance of the authority’s Flood Relief Cell. He directed officials concerned to keep a strict watch on construction activities in Islamabad and ensure that construction material does not obstruct water drainage.

Ramzan Sajid, CDA spokesperson, said that people can reach the flood relief cell at the following numbers: 051-9252842-43, 16 and 1334.

He said that the people living in kutcha areas in sector G-7/2 have been asked to vacate the area for their own safety.

Raja Saeed, Director Operation at Islamabad Electric Supply Company, told The Express Tribune that 17 out of the 150 feeders in Islamabad had been destroyed because of the rains.

The electricity supply to sectors F-10 and F-11 remained suspended on Thursday and Friday. He said that a 120-strong team was work
ing to restore power to these areas.

Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Ali said that the water level in two seasonal drains near rural areas of Islamabad were touching “alarming levels”.

The next rain spell across Pakistan, according to Qammar Zaman, Director-General of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, is likely to begin over the next 24 to 48 hours, from Friday evening.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2010.


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