Many areas in Rawalpindi were inundated after heavy rain lashed the city early Saturday morning.
Several low-lying areas of cantonment and the city including Mohallah Imambara, Bani Chowk, Amarpura, Mohanpura, Mohallah Akalgarh, Javed Colony, Arya Mohallah, Jan Colony, Peoples’ Colony and Tench Bhatta have been submerged by the rainwater.
Residents struggled on their own to pump out rain water that had entered their houses as local administration could be seen nowhere to assist the citizens in need of help.
The residents have to face lots of difficulties as the rainwater has entered their houses and damaged their belongings. Some of the residents have shifted to safer locations on their own as the local administration has extended them no help to mitigate their sufferings.
Many localities along the banks of Nullah Leh including Dhoke Ratta, Dhoke Dilal, Dhoke Chirag Din and other areas have also been badly affected by the rainwater. The streets in these areas have turned into puddles and ponds, providing ‘entertaining spots’ for children to enjoy rowing on boats made of packed material.
After the rain, water level also rose in Nullah Leh at Katarian and Gawalmandi and other places.
The Met Office has predicted widespread rains in upper parts of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir, Sibbi, Zhob, Kalat, Naseerabad, Sukkar, Larkana and Gilgit-Baltistan, in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Lahore and Hazara division during the next 24 hours.
The Rescue 1122 district emergency officer (DEO) said that all-out efforts were being made to mitigate flood damage in terms of deaths, injuries and economic losses in the city.
Rescue 1122 (Rawalpindi) had devised a comprehensive action plan for preventing floods in Nullah Leh and other streams in the city for the monsoon season. The dredging work of Nullah Leh and cleanliness of 11 other main streams that were initiated by the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) was completed last month before the start of the monsoon rains.
Talking to the APP, Rescue 1122 District Emergency Officer (DEO) Dr Abdul Rehman said that efforts were being made to improve coordination and communication among the departments concerned.
He said that steps were also taken to enhance public awareness on situations that increase flood risk and to develop and gear up overall capabilities of the departments to manage flood-related disaster.
Dr Rehman said that all-flood fighting agencies/departments were directed to ensure completion of necessary arrangements before start of monsoon season to combat flood situation in Rawalpindi.
He said that the army would also be engaged in flood management and relief operation with the assistance of the Punjab Emergency Service.
Dr Rehman said that the Rawalpindi Rescue 1122 was monitoring the situation and would promptly convey flood warnings to all agencies concerned and general public living in low-lying areas well before time.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.