At least two people killed in urban flooding, with authorities saying an average 123mm of rain was recorded in the federal capital
Urban flooding caused by a torrential downpour in Islamabad on Wednesday resulted in the deaths of at least two people, and prompted the government to initiate rescue efforts to ensure the safety of citizens.
According to police, a mother and son were killed due to the flooding, footage of which has been circulating on social media, with cars being swept away on the inundated roads of the capital’s Sector E-11. They said that the boy’s death was caused by flooding in their house’s basement, while the mother passed away later. According to local media, four children and their mother were trapped in the basement, and rescue officials could only recover three of them.
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat, in a posting on Twitter, claimed the flood was caused by a “cloudburst,” and urged the public to “cooperate and restrict unnecessary movements” until the situation could be resolved. He said that the spillways of Rawal Dam were being opened to release excess water and appealed to citizens to avoid the riverbanks of Korang and Soan rivers.
In this regard, he said, Section 144 had been imposed to prevent bathing in rivers. The government also deployed Army troops to Rawalpindi, where the water-level at Nullah Lai had risen to flood levels. According to a statement issued by the ISPR, Army troops are aiding the civil administration in rescue and relief efforts. “Contingency plans are in place to meet any flood situation,” it said.
Senior officials have blamed the flooding on “poor management,” stressing that the Capital Development Authority was not responsible for E-11, which is part of a private housing society.
Pakistan’s Meteorological Department, in a statement posted on Twitter, said Islamabad and its surrounding areas had received “heavy downpour of monsoon rainfall” from 5 till 6:30 a.m. It said that a minimum of 15mm and a maximum of 123mm of rainfall had been recorded, with the Saidpur region reporting the highest amount of rain, and Chaklala the least.
“It is to clarify that weather system was forecast earlier vide weather advisory issued by [Met] on July 26 and was disseminated to the National Disaster Management Authority and print and electronic media,” it said. “This was extensive heavy rainfall and cannot be termed as a cloudburst,” it added.