Torrential rains in Pakistan have killed at least 50 people and injured 87 others while damaging scores of residential properties in the past few days, the country's disaster management agency said on Friday.
The pre-monsoon rains began in the last week of June and have continued at short intervals across the country, bringing floods in Balochistan province and affecting traffic on the highways in the province. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan's largest province of Punjab has been badly hit where 34 people have lost their lives due to rain-related incidents, followed by 10 deaths in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, five in Balochistan, and one in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
As many as 62 houses have been partially or fully damaged across the country while 15 animals killed, according to the NDMA. Lahore received record rains this week and the city has been flooded. However, the downpour was almost negligible on Thursday compared to a day earlier.
Most of the 16 monitoring points of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) recorded single-digit rainfall on Thursday. Balochistan received massive rains in its different districts and the provincial disaster management authority issued a high alert to cope with rains and flash floods which led to suspension of traffic at some highways linking the province with Sindh and Punjab.
“We have issued directives to all deputy commissioners about the possible damages due to flash floods in seasonal streams and rivers and have sent necessary relief goods to immediately provide relief,” PDMA Director General Jahanzeb Khan said on Thursday. The Meteorological Department forecast showed that a deep trough of westerly wave along with a strong incursion of monsoon currents would result in “widespread heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls” at scattered places over the upper catchments of rivers Sutlej, Ravi, and Chenab and up to some extent over Jhelum.
Shahid Abbas of the Meteorological Department said that Friday would remain wet but it may not be as threatening as the previous 48 hours. However, Saturday and Sunday will receive Wednesday-like spells, leading to flooding in urban areas.
His prediction hinted that Lahore may have a repeat of what happened on Wednesday when it submerged under waters as it received over 290 mm of rain within a span of 10 hours. The monsoon season runs from July to September in Pakistan. Last year's catastrophic floods inundated a third of Pakistan with the southern province of Sindh and the southwestern region of Balochistan being the worst hit.
The deadly floods killed over 1,200 people and rendered millions of others without food and shelter.