Pre-monsoon rains turn weather pleasant but leave 12 dead

PMD issues GLOF alert in different districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, fearing above-normal rains in coming daysCM Hamza issues alert in the wake of rains

The provincial capital and parts of Punjab brought much-awaited rain on Friday, turning the weather pleasant.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Friday issued a glacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF) alert for different districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, fearing above-normal rains during the upcoming monsoon season.

The rain with thunderstorms was reported in different cities of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northeast Balochistan, Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad. However, the weather remained dry and hot in other parts of the country.

In the overnight downpours, which started after strong winds lashed Punjab, at least 12 people lost their lives, while several were reportedly injured in rain-related incidents.

In Lahore, five members of a family died as the wall of a newly constructed house collapsed, burying members of the family while they were still asleep. In another incident in Shahdara, a man died after the wall of a house collapsed.

In Jhelum, six members of a family died as their car crashed into a canal near Sarai Alamgir due to heavy rain on the road.

In Lahore, rainwater submerged low-lying areas, including Wasanpura, Garhi Shahu, Garden Town, Ferozepur Road, The Mall, Gulberg and Iqbal Town. The overflowing rainwater entered many houses located in low-lying areas, where people were seen draining out water from their houses. WASA and other city departments were seen busy in water ‘clean-up’ operations in most affected areas.

Rain also lashed other cities of Punjab, including Kasur, Shiekhupura, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Narowal, Kamoni, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Jhang and Sahiwal, where several incidents of roof collapse were reported.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecasted more rain during the next 24 hours.

In view of the threat of heavy rains in the coming days in the country, the PMD has issued a GLOF alert.

It warned that the pre-monsoon and early monsoon rainfall is expected to be above normal over central (Punjab) and southern (Sindh) parts of the country, whereas slightly above normal rainfall is expected over the remaining parts of the country.

The highest rainfall was recorded at 107 millimetres at the Lahore airport. In Jhang, it was recorded at 87mm, Islamabad at Golra 44mm, Toba Tek Singh 39, Kasur 29mm, Gujranwala 25mm, Jhelum 24mm, Kot Addu and Noorpur Thal 22mm, Gujrat and Murree 19mm, Narowal 16mm, Faisalabad 15mm, Sialkot 14mm, Bhakkar 15mm and Hafizabad 11mm.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was recorded at 40mm in Bannu, 22mm in Balakot, 12mm in Lower Dir Lower, 10mm in Saidu Sharif and 6mm in Dera Ismail Khan. The maximum temp was recorded at 47 degrees Celsius in Dadu.

On the other hand, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has directed WASA, Rescue 1122, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and other departments concerned to be on alert in the wake of recent rains in various parts of the province.

He directed the officers concerned to go into the field and monitor the rescue and relief activities. The chief minister ordered for ensuring effective traffic management. In case of any untoward incident, the departments concerned should take immediate action, he advised.

Samiullah Randhawa is a correspondent covering environment, climate change, food, water and ecology. He is an International Center For Journalists alumnus and a fellow at Kettering Foundation Ohio, USA. He has won two Agahi Awards for reporting on climate change and water crisis. He tweets @sami_randhawa and can be reached at