At least four dead as heavy monsoon rains return a year after deadly floods

ISLAMABAD: Heavy monsoon rains continued to lash Pakistan on Thursday, causing deaths, flooding roads and disrupting lives in areas where residents already were struggling to recover from floods last summer that affected 33 million people and killed 1,739, officials said.

Four people died in weather-related incidents in Lahore, officials said. At least 24 people have died in weather-related incidents since the rain started last week, including three who were killed in the past day in the northwest.

The monsoon season officially started this week and will continue until September in the country. The first spell of rainy weather was expected to last until Saturday.

Lahore, which is Pakistan’s cultural capital, received a record 272 millimetres (10.7 inches) of rain in nine hours Wednesday, flooding streets and the city’s canal. Efforts were underway to clear the water, Mohsin Naqvi, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, said.

According to an update from the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), the Nishtar Town director’s office topped the charts, experiencing the highest recorded rainfall of 65mm. Following closely behind was the Johar Town SDO office with 57mm, while Lakshmi Chowk witnessed 38mm of rainfall.

On the other hand, a few areas received considerably lesser rainfall. Upper Mall encountered a mere 3.5mm of rainfall, making it the location with the lowest recorded precipitation. The Mughalpura SDO office and the airport area received slightly more rainfall, measuring at 5mm and 5.5mm, respectively.

The last time Lahore received such a deluge was 30 years ago, officials said. Islamabad also had a heavy downpour this week.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) warned local authorities to prepare for emergencies such as flooding and landslides.

Last summer’s devastating floods caused $30 billion in damage in cash-strapped Pakistan.

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