First monsoon showers in city bring respite

July 05, 2022

from hot and humid weatherBy our correspondentsUnder the influence of a monsoon system, Karachi’s outskirts received a significant amount of rain on Monday, causing inundation of roads and...

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from hot and humid weather

By our correspondents

Under the influence of a monsoon system, Karachi’s outskirts received a significant amount of rain on Monday, causing inundation of roads and accumulation of rainwater in low-lying areas, while most of the city areas received light rain or drizzle, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said.

“Moderate to heavy showers have been reported from city outskirts, including Gadap Town, Bahria Town, DHA City Motorway 9, Surjani Town, Gulshan-e-Maymar, North Karachi and Gulshan-e-Hadeed, where around 12 to 27 millimetres of rain was recorded. This weather system is still active and can cause rains on Tuesday afternoon or night till Wednesday evening,” Dr Sardar Sarfraz, chief meteorological officer (CMO) of Sindh, told The News.

He said areas of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Sharea Faisal, Taiser Town and Nazimabad also received light to moderate showers, but main city areas, including Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Saddar and Landhi and Korangi, received light rain or drizzle.

Dr Sarfaraz maintained that during next two days, cloudy weather and intermittent rains were expected in Karachi, saying moderate rain with some heavy falls was also a possibility on Tuesday evening and Wednesday.

People in Gadap Town and the adjoining areas reported heavy rains along M-9. The rain also affected the Sohrab Goth cattle market where the administration claimed to have made enough arrangements to meet the challenge.

The rain count issued by the Met Office later in the evening showed that Surjani Town received 27.2 millimetres of rain was recorded, followed by 24.3mm in Gulshan-e-Maymar and Gulshan-e-Hadeed 16mm. Only traces were found in majority of the areas, said the Met Office advisory.

On Monday, the weather remained hot and dry and the maximum temperature was recorded at 36.5 degree Celsius. The humidity level – the count of moisture in the air -- also stood at 72 per cent, which increased the feel-like reading of the weather. After the rainfall, the city’s major thoroughfares experienced massive traffic jams and power outages.

With unsatisfactory drainage of water from the thoroughfares, massive traffic jams were witnessed on University Road, Natha Khan Flyover, Dalmia Road, Sharea Faisal, Sher Shah Suri Road, Gurumandir, Rashid Minhas Road, II Chundrigar Road and roads in the Saddar area.

Commuters, especially those who were making their way back to their homes from offices, had to spend hours on the roads, braving the downpour from above and the knee-deep water below.

According to Chippa sources, a 29-year-old man died of electrocution in Hawksbay’s Musharraf Colony. The man was shifted to the Civil Hospital later. The K-Electric (KE) said that the incident occurred due to internal wiring and the KE's infrastructure was not involved in it.

Within the first few drops of rain, the power supply to several parts of the city was suspended, which added to the miseries of the citizens. The power outages were reported in Baldia Town, Orangi Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Maymar, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Surjani Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, North Karachi and other areas of the city. Parts of DHA, Clifton, Korangi, Federal B Area, PIB Colony, Soldier Bazaar and Saddar also remained devoid of power.

The K-Electric in a press statement said its teams were vigilant in the field. The power utility advised the citizens to remain cautious while using electric appliances during rainfall. The spokesperson said that due to precautionary measures, the power utility would resort to power cuts in areas where there were complaints of power theft through hook connections.

The KE asked the citizens to stay at a sufficient distance from TV and internet cable wires, PMTs and all its installations. In case of emergency, the power utility advised the citizens to call 118.

Arfa Sajid was making her way back to her home on Monday through Sharea Faisal where she got stuck in a massive traffic jam. She had to cancel her ride-hailing service and seek refuge at a restaurant until the traffic flow became normal.

Same was the situation with Aslam Tahir. “I was going back through MA Jinnah Road, but there was a traffic jam due to rainfall,” he said, sharing how he had to stop and wait at a tea kiosk for the traffic to start moving again.

Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab inspected various drains and visited the head office of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB). Municipal Commissioner KMC Afzal Zaidi was also present on the occasion.

He said 41 major drains and 515 small drains were being cleaned and so far 3,241,697 cubic feet (CFT) of garbage had been removed and shifted to the landfill site. He reviewed the drain-cleaning operation in the control room and said all the contractors cleaning the drains would be paid the bills after verification by NASPAK.

Wahab assured the citizens that his entire administration was on the ground to deal with any untoward situation. Taking to Twitter, Wahab wrote: “Entire administration is on ground to deal with any situation.”

Given that heavy rainfall wreaks havoc on the roads of Karachi, creating massive traffic jams every year, Wahab said, it would be a challenge for the administration as well as for the citizens to deal with the situation. He, therefore, requested the people to avoid “unnecessary movements” during the rain.

"Traffic congestion will be a major challenge since people leave their offices at the same time as soon as it starts raining, would request people to avoid unnecessary movement or schedule their movement to avoid traffic,” he wrote.

In line with the PMD’s forecast, rainfall hit parts of the metropolis on Monday, providing relief to the people as it broke the humidity and intense heat spell. Roads in Gulshan-e-Maymar were inundated after rainwater was not drained.

Deputy Commissioner South Captain (retired) Abdul Sattar visited various areas of the district after the rainfall, including Shaheen Complex, Tower, Club Road, Garden, Clifton and Defense Housing Authority (DHA).

Shaheen Complex, Tower, Club Road, Kutyana Hospital, Kharadar Hospital, ICI Bridge and Lyari are among the low-lying areas of District South, said Sattar. In all these areas, he said, dewatering pumps had been installed.

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