RAWALPINDI - Two teenagers drowned in Nullah Leh after torrential rains lashed the City on Tuesday, as water rose to dangerous level in Nullah Leh swamping posh and low-lying localities.

A father alongwith his two children also sustained critical injuries when the roof of their mud house caved in. Another young man reportedly drowned in the roaring waves of Nullah Leh at Dhoke Naju but he managed to come out of water himself. The heavy rains, that was recorded 180mm by Met Office, also disturbed air, road traffic and communication system, damaged road infrastructure and paralysed normal life in the City.

Moreover, sirens were sounded at 8.30 am to alert people living close to Nullah Leh as the water level had reached 25 feet near New Katarian Bridge and 18.6 feet under Gawalmandi Bridge.

The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR), under the surveillance of Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Khalid Masood Chaudhry and District Coordination Officer Tallat Mehmood Gondal, put its all operational wings and heavy machinery ready to meet with any untoward situation. Rescue 1122 and Civil Defence Department also remained high alert to tackle any difficult situation.

Seeing the roaring waves of Nullah Leh, the troops of Pakistan Army have been deployed at the sensitive locations along with both banks of the Leh.

The CDGR requested inhabitants to shift to some safer places, but the residents remained busy saving their households.

According to information, two teenagers drowned in Nullah Leh at Dhoke Naju Bridge at Khayaban-e-Sir Syed area.

The body of Yousaf Khan alias Lahori, 19, was found stuck in bushes at Ratta area when water level decreased. However, Rescue divers have been busy searching the body of other teenager.

Khan Shabbir, Station House Officer (SHO) Police Station (PS) Pirwadhai, told The Nation that Yousaf slipped suddenly into water at Dhoke Naju Bridge while the other teenager namely Ruh Ullah, 17, also jumped into the water to rescue Yousaf but both were swept away by the roaring waves of Nullah Leh.

Many low-lying localities in the City were inundated even up to eight feet because of torrential rain that started on Monday and continued on Tuesday.

A number of people could also be witnessed swimming in the water while lifting their children on their shoulders.

A large number of families were also shifted to safer places by the rescue teams and troops of Pakistan Army. The divers of Armed Forces and Rescue 1122 wearing special jackets stood for hours along the vulnerable places near Nullah Leh for rescue purposes.

The Rescue 1122 officials said that they were monitoring the situation and dozens of divers and swimmers have been deputed at vulnerable localities.

The traffic remained blocked on all major roads while public transport remained off the road, putting the passengers in huge trouble. Rawal Road, Murree Road, Peshawar Road, several parts of GT Road, Kahuta Road, Committee Chowk and Pirwadhai underpasses were flooded with rainwater, triggering a massive traffic jam on the roads.

The business activities have been suspended. City Traffic Wardens seemed helpless in controlling traffic. The flight schedules on Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport (BBIIAP) have also been changed by the authorities owing to bad weather. Trains running between Rawalpindi and Lahore and other cities could not arrive or depart on time.

In the evening, the water level in Nullah Leh started decreasing. On the other hand, the water level in Khan Pur Dam also increased to dangerous level forcing the authorities to open spillways to release surplus water. The authorities concerned also warned the residents of nearby areas to shift to some safer places.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned of more floods in different parts of the country and has suggested the people of those areas to make necessary arrangements and move to safer place until the threat is over.

The areas including Hazara, Mardan, Peshawar, Malakand and Dera Ismail Khan in KPK are under flood threat. Sargodha and Lahore will also face more rains that might cause roads flooding.

In some areas of Balochistan too heavy rains are expected.

It is pertinent to mention here that the rains already have killed around 84 persons while leaving dozens others injured. The floods in different parts of the country have displaced more than 80,000 persons.

The National Disaster Management Authority claims that it is doing its level best to help the people facing floods but due to continuous spell of rains it is not an easy task to cater to all the affected masses at once.

It is also feared if the rains continue, tributaries of the rivers Ravi and Chenab in Punjab could burst their banks. And if it happens, a large area of Punjab and Sindh too will be affected. At present, 51 districts have been identified as at risk.

Our Staff Reporter from Quetta adds:

At least three people were drowned in Kech district after a passenger van swept away in a nullah which was overflowing, on Tuesday.

According to sources, passenger van was on its way to Turbat from Awaran when it swept away in Hoshab nullah which was flooded due to heavy rains.

Resultantly, three people, including a woman went missing, however, the rest of passengers were rescued.

Sources said that one body was recovered while two bodies were yet to be recovered and it was feared that they had died.

Peshawar staff reporter adds:Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has directed the political agents of the tribal agencies and frontier regions and the Fata Disaster Management Authority to make adequate pre-cautionary measures in the wake of expected torrential rains and floods in Fata. 

He said that effective emergency arrangements especially to make timely warning arrangements for respective people as well provision of sufficient stock of food, medicines tents etc should also be made available in the respective areas. 

Abbas Soz from Kasur adds:

River Sutlej faces low level floods as India had reportedly spilled more water in the river. Evacuation had been accelerated in the area.

Water level in the Sutlej had crossed 62,000 cusecs, on Tuesday night, drifting the River Sutlej to low level floods.

India had discharged 80,000 cusecs more water from its dams into river Sutlej, that could result into low level floods that starts from 70,000 cusec.

Villages including Chanda Singh and Pattan had been islolated as they were disconnected from the road on Tuesday. District administration including Rescue 1122 had provided the villagers with boats for safe evacuation.

District administration claimed to have evacuated more than 2000 people from the affected area to safer places.