by IHSAN QADIR/HASSAAN AHMED
LAHORE: A strong windstorm followed by heavy downpour wreaked havoc on Wednesday in Lahore, resulting in the death of 3 people, as well as causing massive traffic jams and widespread power outages in the city.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted more rains in Lahore for the next 24 hours.
A total of 3 deaths have been reported so far, including 1 woman and 2 men, all owing to roof collapses. 2 of the deaths have taken place in Raiwind area whereas the third took place in Chung. 3 people of Kahna have also been injured due to a roof collapse.
The heavy downpour also exposed creaky infrastructure of Lahore Electric Supply Company as many of its installations fell on roads in various areas. Electricity poles and transformers fell down in Regal Chowk on Lawrence Road, suspending power supply to nearby areas. The knee-deep rainwater was also seen in the Lahore High Court. The rainwater entered in the office of Capital city Police Office located on Queen’s Road. Road traffic also remained suspended on Lawrence and different link roads for several hours due to fallen trees and poles. Motorcyclists were seen carrying their two-wheelers through the rainwater. The banners and flexes of candidates contesting by-polls in NA-120 fell on roads. Dug-up roads and streets in NA-120 added to the miseries of motorists.
Overflowing rainwater choked roads and water entered in many homes of low-lying areas like Mazang.
The disastrous nature of the situation of strong windstorm can be gauged from the fact that many vehicles and motorcycles submerged in rainwater at Lawrence Road. Pedestrians and motorists faced a great deal of difficulty due to knee-deep water in various localities. The incidents of motorcyclists getting injuries after falling into manholes happened on Lawrence road near office of Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education. Rainwater was even overflowing footpaths along the office.
Many motorcyclists also hit haphazardly constructed speed-breakers which were submerged in rainwater in various areas of the city and got injured.
The rain water even submerged the heavy machinery being used to construct the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT).
Particularly, the rain disturbed everyday life of citizens on Lawrence Road. The most rain-hit areas included Lawrence Road, Cannt, Ghous ul Azam Road, Civil Secretaria, Laxmi Chowk, Jail Road ,GPO, Nisbet Road, Jane Mandir, Nabha Road, Old Anarkali, Nila Gumbad, McLagan Road, ,Mason Road, Waris Road, Queen’s Road, Mozang Adda,, Misri Shah and Garhi Shahu.
The staff of Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) miserably failed to drain water from the affected areas. Sensing the gravity of the situation, WASA managing director himself rushed to Lawrence Road and was seen supervising the drainage activity.
Earlier this week, a fresh wave of monsoon rains lashed Punjab’s capital. Karachi received similar rainfalls last week, which affected the city greatly resulting in massive economic damage and loss of lives.
Other parts of Punjab also witnessed a renewed spell of rainfall, including Gujranwala and surrounding areas.