Lahore: Life comes to a halt as heavy rain breaks 30 year record

087272_7468499_Lahore-Twitter_updates.jpg" alt="Heavy rainfall inundates a road in Lahore, on July 5, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Twitter/@AhmadWaleed" width="700" height="400" class=""/>
Heavy rainfall inundates a road in Lahore, on July 5, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Twitter/@AhmadWaleed

LAHORE: The routine life in Lahore was disrupted as heavy monsoon showers broke a 30-year record of rains on Wednesday with up to 291 millimetres of precipitation within a span of 10 hours, leaving major streets and low-lying areas submerged in water.

Over a dozen areas in the provincial capital received more than 200mm of rain, prompting the city administration and Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to launch efforts to drain the rainwater.

City’s Lakhsmi Chowk received the most amount of rain, up to 266mm, followed by 258mm in Nishter Town, 252mm in Gulshan-e-Ravi, 250mm in Johar Town, 241mm in Qurtuba Chowk, 238mm in Tajpura, 222mm in Pana Wala Talab and 221mm in Iqbal Town.

Lahore Commissioner Mohammad Ali Randhawa said that the record rain of up to 256mm was witnessed in Lahore on June 26, but the record was broken as heavy downpours lashed the city this monsoon season. He said that the city didn’t receive as much rain as of now in such a short period of time for the last 30 years.

The city administration and all officers and staff of Water and Sanitation Authority (Wasa) Lahore are fully mobilised to ensure the drainage of rainwater, he added.

Meanwhile, WASA MD Ghufran Ahmed said that the low-lying areas will be cleared within hours when it stops raining. He said that the system is making the draining operation possible at its full capacity.

The rain spell, which started earlier in the morning, paralysed the city as all the major roads and connecting streets were waterlogged making commuting impossible. Many vehicles broke down on the roads due to knee-deep water.

Rainwater entered the houses in low-lying areas of Shah Jamal and Tajpura while the electricity supply was cut, making life more miserable. The people have been advised to stay home to avoid any untoward situation. 

Last week, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) warned that moist currents from the Arabian Sea are likely to penetrate in upper parts of the country, and a westerly wave was also likely to enter the upper parts of the country on Monday, causing heavy rainfall from July 4 to 7 across the country.

CM visits city

Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said that record-breaking rain had caused urban flooding while the canal overflowed following heavy downpours.

“All the cabinet members and administration are in the field to clear the water. I am also monitoring the situation in the field and getting updates from all over Lahore continuously,” the chief minister said as he visited the city to oversee relief operations.

Last week, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) warned that moist currents from the Arabian Sea are likely to penetrate in upper parts of the country, and a westerly wave was also likely to enter the upper parts of the country on Monday, causing heavy rainfall from July 4 to 7 across the country.

Three die in KP

At least three people died in rain-related incidents in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Geo News reported.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) report, two people died in Shangla, and one in Karak.

The PDMA said eight people were injured, while seven houses sustained partial damage. One house was completely damaged.

An official of the KP relief department said that relief would be given to the victims as per the government policy.

Flood warning

According to the latest meteorological analysis, deep trough of the westerly wave along with strong incursion of monsoon currents from both sources and approaching upper air circulation, due to which widespread heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls at scattered places is expected over the upper catchments of Rivers Sutlej, Ravi and Chenab and up to some extent over River Jhelum.

Due to these meteorological conditions, the advisory added, very high to exceptionally high-level flooding is expected in River Chenab.

It further said that the flood situation in rivers Ravi and Sutlej would depend upon releases from India and high to very high-level flooding is also expected in the nullahs of Rivers Ravi and Chenab.