By Muhammad Luqman
At least 39 people were killed and another 135 got injured as rains and thunderstorm brought devastation across Pakistan over the last three days.
The rainfall and hailstorm lashing the country since Monday has also damaged houses and crops in rural areas in addition to causing urban flood in big cities like Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Peshawar and leaving people without power for hours.
According to a breakdown given by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 10 people were killed in Punjab, 11 in Balochistan, five in Karachi (Sindh), 13 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal districts. The rains also left 135 injured: 56 in Punjab; 50 in Sindh; 5 in Balochistan; and 21 in KP.
Heavy downpur also damaged at least 80 houses across the country. Three houses collapses in Punjab, 52 in Balochistan, 25 in KP and tribal districts.
According to Rescue 1122 report, a dilapidated roof suddenly came down in Haveli Lakha area of tehsil Depalpur in district Okara on Wednesday morning, leaving three dead on the spot.
In a similar incident in Gujranwala, five members of a family, including three women and two children, received injuries in a roof collapse. Rescue sources said that heavy rain followed by a wind storm lashed different areas of Gujranwala, leaving the house susceptible to a collapse in the Kashmir Colony.
In Lahore, low-lying areas were inundated owing to heavy rainfall that started on Tuesday night. Roads and underpasses were flooded, and flight operations at the Allama Iqbal International Airport were also affected. The heavy downpour also resulted in power outages in some areas.
Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) spokesperson said that heavy rains caused interruption in power supply, resulting in suspension of electricity supply from 110 feeders .
“Sargodha, Tandlianwala, Sammundri, Gojra, Jhang and adjacent areas also faced power shortage,” the spokesperson added.
In a statement, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) said as many as 211 feeders tripped due to rain. By the evening, the company had managed to restore 109 feeders while work on remaining feeders was underway, the spokesperson said.
The unexpected rains also affected wheat, mango and other crops at a time of harvest. In Sindh, crops over hundreds of acres s have been damaged while Punjab might lose 2 million tonnes of wheat due to the wetspell.
” The per acre yield may experience a decline upto 20 percent due to torrential rains and hailstorm that struck wheat crop this week,” Muhammad Arif, a wheat grower in Soay Asil village near Lahore said.
By Muhammad Luqman