Lahore, the metropolis of Pakistan’s Punjab province, experienced an unprecedented spell of rain that lasted several hours on Wednesday, causing widespread chaos and disruptions to daily life. With over 250mm of rainfall recorded, the city witnessed urban flooding, rendering streets and low-lying areas impassable. As a result, authorities have advised residents to stay at home and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi acknowledged the severity of the situation, stating that the excessive rainfall of 272mm within just nine hours has led to urban flooding, with the canal overflowing due to heavy downpours. To mitigate the effects of the deluge, the chief minister and his cabinet members, along with the administration, mobilized resources and personnel to clear waterlogged areas. Mohsin Naqvi personally visited the affected areas in Lahore to oversee relief operations and ensure the well-being of the city’s residents.
Localized Rainfall Data
The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) reported varying levels of rainfall across different areas of the city. Lakshmi Chowk recorded 259mm of rain, Nishter Town 258mm, Gulshan-e-Ravi 251mm, Johar Town 250mm, Qurtaba Chowk 241mm, Tajpura 238mm, Pana Wala Talab 222mm, and Iqbal Town 221mm. These staggering figures highlight the intensity of the rainfall and its impact on various parts of Lahore.
The relentless rain spell, which began in the early morning, paralyzed Lahore as major roads and connecting streets turned into waterlogged zones, making commuting virtually impossible. Many vehicles broke down due to the knee-deep water, exacerbating the transportation crisis. In low-lying areas such as Shah Jamal and Tajpura, rainwater seeped into houses, causing additional distress for residents. Moreover, the electricity supply was disrupted, further worsening the situation and making life increasingly difficult for the affected individuals.
Loss of Life and Property in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The inclement weather also impacted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where at least three people lost their lives in rain-related incidents. According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), two fatalities occurred in Shangla, while one was reported in Karak. Additionally, eight people sustained injuries, seven houses suffered partial damage, and one house was completely destroyed. The KP relief department has assured the affected individuals that they will receive assistance in accordance with government policies.
Flood Warning and Forecasts
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had previously issued warnings about the weather conditions. Moist currents from the Arabian Sea were anticipated to penetrate the upper regions of the country, coinciding with the arrival of a westerly wave on Monday. These developments were projected to cause heavy rainfall across the country from July 4 to 7. The latest meteorological analysis indicates the presence of a deep trough from the westerly wave, combined with strong monsoon currents and an approaching upper air circulation. Consequently, widespread heavy to very heavy rainfall, including extremely heavy falls at scattered places, is expected in the upper catchments of the Sutlej, Ravi, Chenab, and to some extent, Jhelum rivers.
The advisory further states that the Chenab River is at risk of very high to exceptionally high-level flooding due to these meteorological conditions. The flood situation in the Ravi and Sutlej rivers will depend on water releases from India, while high to very high-level flooding is also anticipated in the nullahs (water channels) of the Ravi and Chenab rivers.
The torrential rainfall in Lahore and its surrounding regions has thrown daily life into disarray, causing urban flooding, impassable roads, and damage to properties. As the situation persists, residents are advised to stay indoors and exercise caution. The government, along with various agencies, is actively engaged in relief efforts to mitigate the impact of the heavy rains and provide assistance to affected individuals. With ongoing weather forecasts indicating the possibility of further flooding, authorities remain vigilant and are prepared to respond swiftly to any emergencies that may arise.