ISLAMABAD: For the capital’s residents, the sigh of relief after the recent heavy rains, proved to be momentary reprieve, followed by severe road troubles.
As rain lashed Islamabad late on Saturday night, several roads in the city were flooded, leaving motorists stranded. The capital saw an unprecedented 81 millimetre (mm) rain by Sunday morning, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). The rain recorded at Saidpur in Islamabad was even higher: 105 mm.
The daily weather report issued by PMD states that monsoonal currents are heading into the country while a shallow westerly trough is prevailing over the northern areas. PMD has predicted thundershowers with gusty winds at scattered places of Upper Punjab including Islamabad and Rawalpindi in the next 48-72 hours. The city of Rawalpindi received a maximum of 38 mm rain.
On Saturday night, Margalla Road was seriously affected by storm water. A section of the road near Marghazar Zoo was completely inundated, with a long row of vehicles parked near the puddle and a number of other drivers seen trying to push their cars out of the waist-high water.
“There was no system in place to assist citizens stuck on the flooded roads,” said Mahnoor Ali, an IT professional who lives in sector F-6 and whose car got stuck in the water. “Even the police were asking citizens to help them in the rain.”
The Capital Development Authority had initiated a Flood Relief Cell hotline (051-2855513) and the 20 members of the cell, equipped with axes and chainsaws, patrolled Islamabad’s streets from midnight to 4am on Sunday. But the cell’s officials said they only deal with blockades in streams and drains, not flooded roads.
Extended power outages were also reported in a number of areas in sector F-6 and F-7. Iesco Complaint and Monitoring Cell’s Assistant Manager Dildar Mussarrat said the wind accompanying the rain had affected power lines and disturbed poles which caused the power outages.
Most areas got their power back after the rain. A couple of streets in sector G-9/3 witnessed protracted power outage on Sunday, affecting around 18 households, but Iesco officials said it was an individual complaint that might not be related to the recent rain.
Most areas got their power back after the rain. PHOTO:FILE
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2013.