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Monsoon Flooding Kills 6 in Pakistani City
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The worst monsoon rains in decades killed six people in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday, submerging much of the area under water, stranding people inside their homes and leaving most neighborhoods without power.
Four people died from electrocution and the two others were killed after a building collapsed, according to Reema Zuberi, a spokeswoman of National Disaster Management Authority.
Officials are expecting floods in other parts of the country as more rains are forecast in the coming days.
Ms. Zuberi said Lahore, a city of 6 million in eastern Pakistan, received nearly seven inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The rains flooded the main roads of the city, which is the capital of Punjab Province. People waded through water and pushed motorbikes and other vehicles.
Rainwater seeped into houses in many parts of the city and people took to Twitter to post pictures of their submerged cars and flooding homes and to criticize the government.
Pakistan is heading into a highly polarized and charged national election on July 25. Shehbaz Sharif, the former chief minister of the province and the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the former ruling party, has often taken pride in building roads, bridges, and underpasses, especially in Lahore.
However, the lack of proper drainage in most parts of the city almost always results in flooding during monsoon season in some of the congested, old neighborhoods.
The most vivid display of rainwater damage was a large crater that appeared on part of The Mall, one of the oldest and busiest thoroughfares in the city where colonial era-government buildings and shopping plazas are. The crater was viewed by many as an example of the shoddy construction work by the last provincial government.
People criticized Mr. Sharif — the younger brother of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — and mocked his past promises that he would turn Lahore into Paris. Many users on social media sarcastically said that Lahore had turned into Venice, instead.
Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party, which has emerged as the biggest challenger to Mr. Sharif’s political party, also visited Lahore and criticized his political opponents, especially those allied with Mr. Sharif.
“This election is the time for them to decide if they still want to be ruled by these pharaohs who have taken turns to ruin this country in the past 30 years,” Mr. Khan was quoted as saying by local news media.
However, supporters of Mr. Sharif were equally passionate in their defense, claiming that continuous rainfall would have affected any other city around the globe the way it did in Lahore. Several of Mr. Sharif’s supporters posted pictures of London and other cities when they were affected by rains and flooding.