World News

Monsoon rains create massive sinkhole in Pakistan city

Posted July 5, 2018 12:53 a.m. EDT

— Two massive sinkholes opened up in Lahore after relentless rain flooded the Pakistani city this week, leaving six people dead.

The sinkholes appeared in front of the General Post Office on Mall Road, a major thoroughfare an old part of the city, lined with buildings dating back to the colonial era.

The larger sinkhole ran six meters (20 ft) deep and over 60 meters (200 ft) wide, according to CNN affiliate Geo News. A second, smaller sinkhole later appeared close nearby.

The monsoon rains left many of Lahore's streets underwater, causing breached canals and unstable buildings. Residents had to resort to rafting through streets and pushing their bikes in thigh-high water.

There have been six deaths in the last 24 hours, according to Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Two people died after a building collapsed, three drowned, and one died from electrocution, the authority said. There have also been 17 people reported injured from collapsed roofs and walls.

The NDMA warned residents on Tuesday to vacate dangerous buildings and to stay away from flash flood points.

The monsoon had swept from the east to Lahore, dumping over 200 mm (almost eight inches) of rainfall into the city over a two day period. Although flooding often occurs during the summer monsoon season, this seems to be the worst case in decades, and is unlikely to let up soon.

Thundershowers are expected to continue throughout Punjab province for at least 48 hours, the Regional Meteorological Center said on Wednesday.

Other parts of Pakistan are also expected to receive scattered showers and rainfall, with heavier rains later this month as the monsoon travels north.