PESHAWAR: A hailstorm and heavy rainfall struck Peshawar valley on Friday afternoon, killing two people, injuring five and inflicting severe damage to standing crops.
The storm started around 3pm during which the wind speed was recorded at 60 kilometres per hour (kmh). It was soon followed by rainfall and thunder. According to the meteorological office, around 29mm of rainfall was recorded till 5pm.
“The rainfall was considerable, but there are no chances of large-scale flooding,” said Mushtaq Ali Shah, director of the Peshawar Met office. He added, however, that rain would result in flooding of the drainage system and nullahs (rainwater drains) in low-lying areas. The spell of rain is expected to continue for the next few days.
Two sisters, Nadia and Natasha, were electrocuted in Changarabad area of Faqirabad when rainwater seeped into their house. They were rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital where they were pronounced dead.
In Hayatabad Phase-VI, five children were injured when the roof of a mosque caved in. They were said to be in stable condition by the time this report was filed. “The wooden roof suddenly caved in,” said a resident, Moihuddin.
The low-lying areas and most of the roads in the walled city were turned into pools as drainage and rain water accumulated, resulting in hours-long traffic jams.
“There is at least two-feet-deep water on Kohat road where cars have been stranded for hours,” said a local, Akbar Khan. He added that his vehicle had gotten stuck in the rainwater and he had to tow it out with the help of three passers-by. Dozens of other cars are still stranded, he added.
“The situation was far better before the local government. No effort has been made to clean these nullahs,” lashed out another resident, Muhammad Sardar Khan. “Every time it rains, the city is turned into a lagoon, while the city government continues to ignore the situation”.
Seven houses were burnt to the ground after lightening struck Shinkiari village in Mansehra. No casualties or injuries were reported as the residents were rushed out of their houses in time.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2013.
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