In the wake of flooding caused by heavy rains in the garrison city, three bodies were recovered from railway carriage factory and people’s colony this afternoon.
Two among the deceased were identified as 15-year-old Hammad and 18-year-old Rehman. The other body could not be identified and was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital. Another two lost their life when the wall of a government building collapsed.
Rawalpindi received its first heavy shower of the monsoon season on Tuesday which stared at around 9:30am in the morning and lasted till the afternoon, with average rainfall recorded at 117mm.
According to Muhammad Umar Farooq, assistant director information of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), water level of Nullah leh around Katariyan was recorded at 22-23ft while that near Gawalmandi was recorded at around 15.32ft at its maximum.
He told The Express Tribune that the Wasa chief and emergency teams were present on the Gawalmandi bridge to assess the situation as it is considered the most flood-vulnerable area along Nullah Leh’s path.
According to Farooq, the loss of government property was also reported earlier in the morning as the district environment office filed a complaint to Wasa about an office boundary wall being washed away by the flood.
The spokesperson of the Cantonment Board Rawalpindi Muhammad Rizwan Raja confirmed the news and added that two labourers working at the boundary wall of the district environment office were caught in the Nullah Leh flood water and lost their life.
Moreover, the spokesperson informed that areas under the cantt board such as Afshan colony, Jaan Colony and Westridge were inundated with overflowing drainage water.
Talking about the emergency preparedness in the wake of flood threats, Farooq said at present six jetting machines and as many suction machines are being used in areas mostly affected by rains. For quick response, the agency has established flood emergency centres at Moti Mahal, Liquat Bagh, Bagh Sardran and Khayban Commercial Market. The emergency call centre (1334) in WASA Headquarter building has also been activated and will remain operational round the clock.
Wasa staff has been deployed at each of the flood emergency centers and includes a civil engineer, assistant director, sub-engineer, and supervisor and sewer man.
Traffic also remained stuck on various roads. Rainwater also gushed into houses and shops in the low-lying localities of the city and residents remained busy in removing stagnant water on their own.
Meanwhile, Islamabad Electric Supply Company appealed to citizens to wear proper non-conductive rubber shoes, repair their defective home wiring system and stay far from high tension wires and electric poles during heavy rains.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2015.