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More rain brings more misery as citizens spend another day without water and electricity


July 31, 2019

Life in Karachi remained paralysed for a second consecutive day on Tuesday when more monsoon rains worsened the situation, with 12 more people dying in rain-related incidents and many areas waiting for the restoration of water and power supplies.

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said intermittent showers caused an urban- flooding like situation in the city’s outskirts after hill torrents entered low-lying areas of Surjani Town, Gadap and North Karachi, caused inundation of main highways and thoroughfares and compelled the city administration to call in the Pakistan Army to assist the city administration in shifting people to safe places.

“Different areas of Karachi continued to receive light to moderate showers from Tuesday morning till afternoon under the influence of a monsoon system that has weakened drastically and would be cleared tonight,” Sardar Sarfraz, chief meteorological officer of Sindh, said while talking to The News.

“The Saddar area received heaviest rain during the two days where 149 millimeters of rain was recorded since Monday morning,” he said.

12 more deaths

Twelve more people, including a minor girl, were killed in rain-related incidents in various parts of Karachi on the second consecutive day of monsoon rains on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 26.

Another 11 people, including children, were injured as roofs and walls of their houses collapsed.

On Monday, 14 people, including three minor children, had been electrocuted to death while one young man had died by drowning.

On Tuesday, a nine-year-old girl identified as Masooma, daughter of Salman, died of electrocution near her house located at Sector 5-C/3 in North Karachi within the limits of the Khawaja Ajmair Nagri police station. Her body was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for an autopsy and later handed over to the family for burial.

Police officials said the girl died of electrocution when she came out of her house and received an electric shock after a broken electricity wire fell into the stagnant rainwater.

Twenty-year-old Atif Ali, son of Abid Ali, died of electrocution at his house located on Street No. 15, Yousuf Goth, in Surjani Town. His body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities. Police officials said that the incident occurred when a broken electricity wire fell into rainwater outside his home.

In a similar incident, a man identified as 22-year-old Kamran died of electrocution outside his home in Block 13-D-2 in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. His body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for an autopsy. Police officials said that he received an electric shock and died on the spot when he touched an electricity poll outside his home.

In the Defence area, 45-year-old Bakht Zaman, son of Ghulam Rasool, died from electrocution while bathing at his house located in Hazara Colony within the limits of the Defence police station. His body was taken to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities.

A 36-year-old man, Adam, son of Usman, died of electrocution while he was trying to switch a water machine on at his house located near Juna Masjid in Lyari. His body was taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi for medico-legal formalities.

A man who is yet to be identified died of electrocution on Macchi Miani Road in the Kharadar area. His body was taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi for an autopsy.

A six-month-old baby who died after the roof of his house collapsed in Gulshan-e-Maymar was identified as Asad, son of Hassan Ali, while his siblings who were injured in the incident identified as Mahek, 7, Uzma, 13, Zaheer, 7, and Fahad, 4. The casualties were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

A wall of a house collapsed in Joria Bazaar, Bartan Street. Resultantly, a man, Umair, 35, son of Tayyab, and his wife, Mahek, 27 were wounded. The injured couple was shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi for medical treatment.

Four people were wounded when the roof of a house collapsed on them in Bhakkar Goth on Abul Hassan Isphahani Road. The victims were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medical treatment.

Three children were rescued by Edhi volunteers while they were drowning in the Lyari River near Teen Hatti area. They were named as 12-year-old Abdullah, Hassan, 13, and Usman, 14.

A six-month-old boy died as roof of his house collapsed on him while one young man drowned to death.

Two minor brothers were playing in a ground near their home when they died due to electrocution in North Nazimabad’s Block L.

The children were riding bicycles when they received an electric shock and died on the spot. Following the incident, volunteers from the Edhi Foundation reached the scene and shifted their bodies to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities, where a large number of their family members, relatives and neighbouring people staged a protest.

A factory worker was electrocuted to death while he was working at his factory located in the Fisheries area within the limits of the Docks police station.

He was identified as 25-year-old Shahbaz, son of Aslam. His body was shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for an autopsy. A woman, Iqbal Begum, 39, wife of Saeed Akbar, died after suffering an electric shock at home near Khyber Chowk in Baldia Town. A motorcyclist, Saqib, 22, son of Nisar, died from electrocution near Ameer Khusro Park in Clifton.

According SHO Fida Hussain Marwat, the man was going somewhere when his motorbike slipped and hit an electricity pole. He received an electric shock and died on the spot. His body was taken to the JPMC.

Two minor children who were electrocuted to death in Malir City on the first day of rain were laid to rest amid tears and sobs on Tuesday. A large number of family members, relatives and neighbourers and District Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur attended their funeral prayers.

Ten-year-old Mehrab, son of Jibran, and nine-year-old Omair, son of Raza, had been electrocuted to death due to a snapped electricity wire while they were playing outside their homes during rain in Malir City on Monday. Their families had staged a protest and demanded of higher authorities to take stern action against those responsible for the deaths of the minor children.

No electricity

A massive water and power crisis hit the city on Tuesday as well as most of the areas remained without electricity for 20 to 30 hours.

The electricity crisis led to a halt in the water supply to a large number of areas of Karachi. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) took serious notice of reports of the massive power breakdown in Karachi, the K-Electric’s failure to respond to citizens’ complaints, and the electrocution incidents, and sought an explanation from the K-Electric.

Nepra authorities said it was disturbing to note that KE complaint centres had not been responding to telephone calls of consumers.

Nepra also questioned the KE over its failure to take precautionary measures as rain was expected. It had also directed the power utility to take immediate remedial measures for the restoration of the power supply.

But the K-Electric said the power supply situation remained under control as the city witnessed rainfall for the second consecutive day. Parts of the city were submerged on account of unprecedented rains and K-Electric teams remained engaged round the clock to rectify local faults in difficult circumstances.

“The Met office has predicted more rains today and tomorrow, and the power utility’s teams remain on ground 24/7 to ensure that the areas affected are brought back online in a timely manner,” a spokesman for the power utility said, adding that K-Electric remains committed to ensuring the power supply to key installations, and the electricity supply to the airport, strategic KWSB pumping stations and main hospitals remained uninterrupted on the second day of rain.

“Two days of rainfall put a strain on the system but upgrades across the entire system have allowed response to queries with greater efficiency to address the outages.

“Due to water logging, some localized faults still remain and KE is coordinating with relevant civic agencies to ensure drainage of clogged water and to restore power supply. With more rain expected the power utility remains vigilant and ready to ensure system reliability.”

“Customers are urged to use caution during the monsoons and not touch electric poles or power infrastructure. The public is urged to not take shelter under transformers, sign boards or hoardings and to not ring the doorbell with wet hands”, he added. In case of any complaints, customers can get in touch with call centers at 118 or through SMS to 8119 as well as via social media forums or through the KE Live app.

No drinking water

In some areas, sewage-mixed water was supplied to people as the sewerage-system overflowed. Most of the city areas remained without water due to prolonged power breakdowns at the pumping stations of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).

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