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August 30, 2017
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Intermittent showers provide a prelude for expected downpour

Karachi

August 30, 2017

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An extremely hot and humid Tuesday which saw temperatures rising to 40.5 degrees Celsius in the city took a pleasant turn by the afternoon as various city areas received intermittent showers. 

With an active monsoon system entering Pakistan from the Indian state of Gujrat, the sporadic showers could be considered a prelude to the heavy to very heavy rainfall expected in the metropolis over the next three days, according to weather pundits. 

“The minimal rain in areas including Saddar and its neighbourhoods shows that the rain-causing system has entered the country. It is expected this monsoon system will bring heavy to very heavy rains to Karachi and the coastal belt of Sindh, including Badin, Thatta and Sujawal, from Wednesday to Friday,” the city’s Met Office director, Abdur Rashid, told The News.

An early spell of intense but brief showers in Saddar, Sharea Faisal, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and other parts of the megalopolis on Tuesday brought respite from humidity and sweltering heat but the little rain was enough to cause traffic gridlocks on major roads and arteries due to accumulation of rainwater.

“The city’s Saddar area received 9mm of rain, while 3.5mm was recorded in the Masroor base area,” the met official said and warned that under the influence of this weather system, which had caused heavy rains in India’s Gujrat and Mumbai, widespread rains along with thunderstorm and gusty winds were expected in the metropolitan from Wednesday to Friday.

The met office director, however, rejected rumours that a storm was likely to hit Karachi on Wednesday. But he urged people to stay cautious, saying that billboards could fall on roads because of heavy rain showers and strong winds.

Moreover, the met office in its regular weather advisory to the media said rain and/or thunderstorm with gusty winds was expected at scattered places in Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Karachi on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, while widespread rain and/or thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds, and even isolated heavy to very heavy falls, was expected in lower Sindh from Wednesday morning to Friday.

The weather advisory further said heavy to very heavy falls may generate urban flooding in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas on Wednesday and Thursday, and flash flooding in the vulnerable nullahs and streams of eastern Balochistan during this period. “We are seeing good rain in Karachi from late Tuesday night to Friday and this may result in urban flooding, which is not a new phenomenon in Karachi and Lahore due to choked rainwater drains.”  

Directives

In view of expected heavy rain showers, Sindh Chief Murad Ali Shah, who is in Makkah, issued directives to provincial local government minister Jam Khan Shoro on telephone.

The CM asked him to direct the local government department, the disaster management authority, the district administrations, and all municipal bodies to remain fully alert to resolve rain-related problems on an urgent basis.

He said effective measures should be adopted for drainage of rain water, for repair and maintenance work of drains and low-lying areas, and for smooth functioning of sewerage and drainage network. He also requested the citizens to refrain from throwing garbage in sewerage systems and storm water drains.

Furthermore, rehabilitation minister Mir Mumtaz Hussain Jakhrani also held a meeting with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and asked all relevant departments, including the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), to remain vigilant and work together in the wake of heavy rains and chances of urban flooding in the city.

On the other hand, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar said municipal authorities were alert and all concerned officials had been in field to deal with any situation during the current spell of rains in the city.

“The city situation remained satisfactory after rain on Tuesday as rainwater drained out without creating trouble for citizens due to precautionary measures that had been taken in this connection,” Akhtar said while visiting the Saddar, Clifton and other areas.

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