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September 2, 2017
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16 more perish as Karachi struggles to recover from devastating rain

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September 2, 2017

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KARACHI: As many as 16 more people were killed due to electrocution and other rain-related incidents in Karachi on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 32 since Thursday. Many city areas received more light to moderate rain on the second consecutive day, complicating issues for North Karachi, Surjani Town and adjoining areas in addition to several parts of Gadap and Malir from where rain water could not be drained, causing immense hardships to residents.

Hospitals confirmed receiving bodies of 14 people from different parts of the city who were electrocuted, while hundreds of people were injured in the last 48 hours in traffic and rain-related incidents. Furthermore, army personnel recovered the bodies of two more people from a rainwater drain in Surjani Town where they had drowned. The contingents of armed forces along with Rangers are assisting the local administration in rescue and relief activities following appeals by the city mayor following unprecedented rains.

Alongside the casualties and distress following the heavy rains, the rising water level in Hub Dam is likely to prove a silver lining for the water deficient city.  Water in the Hub Dam reservoir crossed 300 feet mark, as more water continued to flow from the dam’s catchment areas in Balochistan, Wapda officials in Karachi said. The filling of the dam, Wapda officials believe, is likely to alleviate water shortages in the city.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials in Karachi said that although the rain system that wreaked havoc in Karachi on Thursday night had dissipated, it still caused light to moderate rain in  Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Karachi Airport, Malir and North Karachi. The fresh spells of rain caused water levels to rise in the Malir River, inundating the Korangi causeway and the main Korangi road, causing hardships for those commuting from the Korangi Industrial area via Korangi causeway. Also the people of Lyari remained the worst sufferers as large areas of Baghdadi, Chakiwara, and adjoining old city areas remained swamped in sewage mixed with rainwater.

Troops of Pakistan Army and Sindh Rangers cleared almost all the underpasses with the help of heavy pumps making Sohrab Goth, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad and several other underpasses functional. The personnel of army and Rangers also conducted relief activities in Gadap and Malir by providing food and water to the people stranded at mosques and other public buildings. In many areas of Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Surjani, Khuda ki Basti and adjoining areas, people continued to drain out water from their homes and streets. Many open grounds and places where large congregations of Eid-ul-Ahza are to be held were still inundated and people with the help of military authorities were trying to drain out the water.

Activists of some welfare organisations including Al-Khidmat Welfare Organization and others also participated in the relief activities in the districts Central, East and South as most of the elected and local government representatives remained away from their constituencies, while District Municipal Corporations (DMCs) and Union Council (UC) also failed to perform their responsibilities timely and effectively.

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