Rain played havoc in karachi
01 September, 2017
KARACHI: At least 23 people, including seven children and a girl, died from electrocution and other rain-related incidents in the city on Thursday when the dreaded downpour not only disrupted flight operations but also caused flooding of many neighbourhoods amid outages despite early weather warnings.
As Karachi received up to 130 millimetres (5.11 inches) of rainfall on Thursday (with more showers expected on Friday as well) Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi directed the Pakistan Army, National Highway Authority (NHA), Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Ports and Shipping, the Pakistan Rangers, and other authorities to mobilise all their resources to clear the roads and ensure uninterrupted communication and connectivity within the city as well as with other parts of Pakistan.
The storm drain of Gujjar nullah started overflowing after the Lyari River got filled to capacity, inundating the surrounding settlements while a number of vehicles were seen swamped in knee-deep rainwater as motorists struggled to pass through flooded roads including those leading to city’s major hospitals.
Despite the weather alerts and early warnings issued by different quarters, the loss of so many lives on a single day exposed the tall claims of the government about rain emergency measures. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Governor Mohammad Zubair, who are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia these days to perform Haj, called the provincial ministers and Pakistan Navy’s Commander Karachi, respectively, to take necessary measures to clear accumulated rainwater.
Most of the victims died from electrocution. Two died when the roof or wall of some decrepit buildings collapsed and an equal number of people drowned in different parts of the city. The deceased were identified as one-year-old Farman from North Karachi; two-year-old Sania from Afridi Colony of Manghopir; Salahuddin, 45, from Shershah; Irfan, 28, from Machhar Colony; Michael Salim, 23, from Punjab Colony; Saeedullah, 21, Gulshan-i-Maymar; Aslam, 10, from Gulistan-i-Jauhar; Ahmer, 11, from Gabol Town, Sajid, 24, from Chishti Nagar; Sohail, 25, from Nazimabad, Mariam, 20, from Saeedabad, Mohsin Ikram, 10, from Neelum Colony in Clifton; Yasin Majeed, 22, from PIB Colony, Aftab Alam, 75, from Madinah Colony, Mohammed Jan, 6, from Kalakot, Rajab Ali, 25, from Sachal; Saeedullah, 22, from Gulshan-i-Bihar; Mohammad Naseer, 22, from Orangi Town; Dilawar, 40, from Fareed Colony; Nasir Khan, 25, from Metroville-SITE, Shazeb, 23, from Korangi; and two unidentified youngsters from People’s Chowrangi and Khuda Ki Basti, Surjani.
A family trudges through the water in Surjani Town —Agencies
The number of deaths might be higher as relatives mostly tended to take away the bodies without allowing doctors to fulfil legal formalities, said Dr Aijaz Khokhar, police surgeon at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, while speaking to Dawn.
According to the Met Office, the city is likely to have more rain with strong dusty winds on Friday. The maximum rainfall was recorded in North Karachi (130mm), followed by PAF base Masroor (125mm), Nazimabad (124mm), Saddar (84mm), University Road (52.7mm), PAF base Faisal (52mm), Safoora Goth (44mm), Airport (45mm) and Landhi (20mm). Other towns of Sindh which received showers included Tandojam (60mm), Hyderabad (52mm), Sakrand (46mm), Thatta (44mm), Mirpurkhas and Chhachhro (32mm), Nagarparkar (22mm), Diplo (12mm) and Nawabshah (11mm), Moenjodaro (9mm), Islamkot (5mm), Mithi, Padidan, Dadu (2mm) and Chhor (1mm).
In Karachi, the maximum and minimum temperature recorded was 32 and 26 degree Celsius respectively. Humidity was 75pc, according to the Met Department.
KE feeders trip
Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar accompanied by Deputy Mayor Dr Arshad Vohra and other leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement paid a detailed visit to various areas badly affected by showers to gauge gravity of the situation and inspect as to how effectively the municipal apparatus was functioning to drain rainwater from streets and neighbourhoods.
During his six-hour visit, Mayor Akhtar went to Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Federal B Area, Tahir Villa and Landi Kotal Roundabout, Nipa Roundabout, Hasan Square and the rain emergency centre at Kashmir Road. Talking to the media, the mayor said it was an extraordinary rainfall that affected almost all parts of the sprawling city.
“The municipal leadership is busy doing its job and we will not go back home until the situation is normalised,” he vowed. However, he said, it was responsibility of the Sindh government to sit once and for all to address the longstanding issues which had been hindering improvement related to disposal of sewage and garbage.