PESHAWAR: A man was killed and two others were injured when the roof of a building collapsed due to heavy rain at Ring Road near Achini Bala in the outskirts of the city.
“He was identified as Tahir, a resident of Regi, who had gone into the building to seek shelter from the sudden rainfall and was caught under the debris when the roof collapsed,” a local told The Express Tribune on Thursday. He said the building was made of mud. It served as a storage place for firewood, which was also sold there.
“The business is owned by an IDP from Waziristan and the deceased was just a passer-by. Two others were injured in the roof collapse,” he added.
Rescue 1122 confirmed the incident. Talking to The Express Tribune, spokesperson from Rescue 1122 said they had been put on alert despite having no threat of flooding. He said they helped residents in Miskeenabad and Warsak Road by pumping out rain water gathered in their houses.
“The district administration and Rescue 1122 have been put on alert. Staff holidays have been cancelled,” he said
Heavy rain lashed the city on Thursday, flooding its streets, thanks to overflowing drains. Albeit pleasant, the weather caused plenty of problems in low-lying areas.
The downpour, which started in the morning, continued for 45 minutes and lashed the city at frequent intervals. Water accumulated in the streets, and eventually entered houses and shops, damaging them.
Warsak Road was one of the most affected localities. A canal overflowed there, which eventually got blocked near Usmania Colony by a pile of solid waste; some of the waste combined with rainwater which had flooded the area.
After Water Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) failed to show up, the residents tried to remove rainwater from shops and houses themselves. Locals were also forced to remove the waste eventually.
“WSSP paid no heed to our repeated calls to come and remove the waste that had flooded our streets,” said Khalid Sultan, a resident.
Manzoor Ali, a pharmacy owner from the area, said water also entered his shop. “Medicines worth hundreds of thousands of rupees have been damaged,” he said.
Major roads including University Road and Kohat Road turned into swamps, causing motorists and pedestrians to wade through knee-deep water. Rainwater caused a massive traffic jam on Charsadda Road, where Bhudni canal had over-flowed. Vehicles lined up on both sides of Bhudni bridge, keeping motorists waiting for over an hour to cross the bridge.
“This is the true face of Naya Pakhtunkhwa. Only keeping the roads clean doesn’t mean we have made development,” said Muhammad Jamal, a resident of Nothia.
Rescue 1122 services dispatched teams to various areas to respond to emergencies.
He said the most affected areas were Nothai, Miskeenabad, Palosai, Gulabad, Lalzar, Hashmi Bala, Kohati gate, Gulbahar and Hazarkhwani where rain water entered houses and shops.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.