Death toll from heavy rains in Lahore rises drastically

Death toll from heavy rains in Lahore rises drastically

LAHORE - The death toll from from heavy rain in upper parts of the country has risen to 15, officials said on Wednesday.

The heaviest rains seen in Lahore since 1980 continued into Wednesday, flooding streets and causing some residents to join small demonstrations against local authorities.

Rescue officials and police confirmed the death toll, saying most deaths were caused by electrocution and homes caving in.

The city’s submerged stre­ets and widespread power breakdowns exposed the lack of preparedness of civic departments to deal with the monsoon downpour.

A portion of The Mall, near the recently dug underground station of the Orange Line Metro Train, caved in on Tuesday because of heavy rainfall, forming two large craters on a newly-constructed stretch of Mall Road, near the General Post Office intersection.

Rainwater kept draining into the yawning gaps that opened up, threatening the foundations of the multi-billion-rupee underground rail station and the adjacent historic buildings.

The Flood Forecasting Division in Lahore said the rain spell was likely to subside today (after 24 hours) in upper parts of the country and after 48 hours in south Punjab. Scattered winds and thunderstorms, with isolated heavy rainfall, are expected over upper catchments of all major rivers along Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions over the next 24 hours.

Pakistan has long struggled to cope with the annual monsoon rains, which trigger flash floods and mudslides that destroy homes.