DERA GHAZI KHAN/ BAHAWALPUR/ MULTAN:
The dry spell in south Punjab was broken on Sunday as heavy rains hit most parts of the region.
Showers were reported from Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajan Pur, Khanewal and Vehari.
At least 14 people were killed and 16 others were injured in various rain-related incidents.
In Multan, three women and two children died when the roof of their house collapsed when a powerful dust storm hit the city, followed by rainfall. A man was injured when an under-construction wall in Ahmadpur East collapsed. Rescue 1122 officials said a woman was killed and her son was injured in a road accident in the same area.
According to the Met Department, the wind velocity was recorded at 60km per hour. Temperature dropped down to 29 degrees.
In Sadiqabad, a man was injured when the roof his bedroom collapsed. He was rushed to Nishtar Hospital in Multan. At least four people were injured when billboards collapsed.
Three motorcyclists were injured near Roadpur Adda Peepli, injuring at least six people.
In Hasanabad, two workers were injured when the roof of a shop collapsed on them. They were injured and rushed to Nishtar Hospital.
A Met Department official said it rained for nearly three hours at the mountainous zone of Sulaiman Range in Rajanpur.
There were reports of flooding in hill torrents but Rajanpur DCO Ghazi Amanullah denied those.
He said there was no danger of floods there.
“Flow is below 10,000 cusecs. Floods occur when it is above 50,000 cusecs,” he said.
Power supply was affected in many areas.
At leas 12 hours load shedding was reported in urban areas and 18 hours in rural areas.
In Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, the rains were less severe. Families thronged to parks and recreational sites after weather cleared. In Dera Ghazi Khan, dark clouds appeared suddenly during the scorching day and it started raining. It rained for several hours, after which cool winds brought down temperatures. No injuries were reported in zones where the dust storm was not experienced.
Muhammad Akram, a resident of Model Town in Bahawalpur, said told The Express Tribune that it had been very hot and humid before the weather turned pleasant.
He said people had stopped venturing outside because of the extreme heat.
“This is a wonderful change,” he said. “Children can play outside, elders can sit under the shade and breathe fresh air.”
Hamza, a samosa seller in Dera Ghazi Khan, said he had set up his stall as soon as it stopped raining.
“Dozens of families came out to enjoy the weather and bought samosas and jalebis,” he said.
He said many people had been falling ill because of extreme heat. “Now everyone is outside, enjoying the weather,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2015.