Wednesday Jul 28 2021
Web Desk

Islamabad commissioner announces probe into flood-related deaths

Web Desk
Residents gather as they look at a damaged car submerged in flood waters after heavy monsoon rains in Islamabad on July 28, 2021. — AFP
Residents gather as they look at a damaged car submerged in flood waters after heavy monsoon rains in Islamabad on July 28, 2021. — AFP

  • Meeting on capital's flooding situation held with Asad Umar in the chair.
  • Umar directs capital authorities to mark illegal establishments, clear slums near nullahs.
  • CDA says Islamabad recorded 330mm rain.

Following two deaths and widespread flooding in the federal capital, Islamabad Commissioner Amir Ahmed said Wednesday a probe has been ordered in this regard.

The commissioner made the statement during a meeting with Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair.

The federal minister, during the meeting, expressed concern over water entering homes in Sector E-11 and illegal establishments.

Umar expressed sorrow over the demise of a mother and her son in Sector E-11 due to rain, following which the commissioner said an investigation had been ordered into the deaths.

The federal minister directed authorities to mark illegal establishments and provide alternate residences to people living in slums near nullahs.

330mm rainfall recorded

Meanwhile, the Capital Development Authority said all officers and employees have been asked to remain on high alert for the next week in light of the heavy downpour.

"The federal capital recorded 330mm rain [...] Rainwater has been cleared from all roads," the authority said, adding that a rain-related control room has been set up, which will operate 24/7 and monitor the situation.

The CDA said its personnel were busy in relief works since 7am and had launched an operation to drain the rainwater from Sector E-11.

Ban on swimming

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat said the federal capital authorities will come up with a plan amid a forecast of heavy rains in the next six to seven days.

The deputy commissioner, in a statement, said: "It is not like the entire Islamabad is inundated, only an alley and a house were affected which were cleared within two hours."

Shafqaat said people have been asked to not visit Korang and Soan rivers and Section 144 has been imposed to keep people from swimming in these rivers.

"Announcements have also been made from mosques to inform people that there is a ban on swimming in rivers," the deputy commissioner said.

Was the rain due to a cloud burst or not?

Earlier in the day, Shafqaat had said a "cloud burst" had caused flooding in various areas, as he informed people that teams were busy clearing nullahs and roads.

Later, the DC announced that roads were clear for traffic.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department contradicted the statement, saying it was not a cloud burst but heavy rainfall.

"It is to clarify that weather system was forecasted earlier vide weather advisory issued by PMD on 26th July 2021 and was disseminated to NDMA and print and electronic media. This was extensive heavy rainfall and cannot be termed as a cloud burst," the PMD statement said.

The clarification was later retweeted by Shafqaat.

Heavy rains lash capital

Videos from Islamabad's sectors E-11 and D-12 show cars floating in gushing waters after heavy rains that lashed the federal capital and Rawalpindi for hours today morning.

The twin cities received the highest rains during the current monsoon season.

Sources in the Pakistan Meteorological Department said that some areas in Islamabad received up to 330mm of rain in the last few hours, which was later confirmed by the CDA.

Army called in to assist amid high alert

Pakistan Army troops were deployed in Rawalpindi after the local government sought the military’s help following incessant rains that triggered a high flood in Nullah Lai.

“Heavy rains caused high water level in Nullah Lai and water accumulation in E 11," the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

It said that army troops are busy assisting civil administration in rescue and relief efforts.

“Contingency plans are in place to meet any flood situation.”

A spokesperson of the National Disaster and Management Authority said that after heavy rains in Rawalpindi and the danger of possible flooding in Nullah Lai, local administration and emergency services were alerted to deal with any emergencies.

Two people drown in Sector E-11

At least two people, including a minor, were killed when water entered homes in Islamabad's Sector E-11.

According to the affected family, four children and their mother drowned when a nearby drain overflowed and water entered their house.

They said that the administration rescued three children while one child and the mother died.

An uncle of the deceased child told Geo News that water entered their house at around 6am due to which a wall in the backyard collapsed.

"Water accumulated in the basement of the house, drowning five members of the family, including four kids."

He said they started rescue efforts on their own while the administration reached the area after 8:30am.