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July 27, 2020

Four electrocuted as rain wreaks havoc on Karachi again

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July 27, 2020

Nagan Chowrangi area submerged in rainwater after heavy downpour on Sunday. Photo: APP

KARACHI: Not unexpectedly, rain again wreaked havoc on Karachi on Sunday afternoon with four people dead from electrocution, all major roads and low-lying areas inundated, and several areas facing power outages. A strong monsoon system caused the heavy rain in the city which, on the positive side, turned the weather pleasant.

It also rained in other parts of the country Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Reports said the low-lying areas of the country were inundated after heavy spell of rain. According to the Met office, Karachi received the heaviest rain spell of 86mm, Islamabad 53mm, and Rawalpindi 52mm, while other parts of the country in a decreasing order.

“Under the influence of a well-marked low-pressure area near the Rann of Kutch and the Arabian Sea, Karachi received heavy showers on Sunday afternoon and in some areas of the city, over 80 millimetres of rain was recorded in a short span of time,” said Sardar Sarfraz, Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Chief Meteorological Officer. “These heavy showers inundated roads and created an urban flooding-like situation in various areas of the city, especially in low-lying spots.”

Terming the intensity of rain “more than their expectations”, Sarfraz said they were expecting moderate rain with some heavy falls. He, however, conceded that it was a heavy spell that caused the urban flooding-like situation and warned that another medium to heavy spell of rain was also possible late Sunday night that could add to the miseries of people.

Following the heavy rain, the domestic and international flight operation was suspended from the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, where around 58mm of rain was recorded till Sunday evening, officials said and added that as soon as the weather situation would improve, the flight operation would be resumed.

On the other hand, the inundation of roads due to rainwater and sewage caused heavy traffic jams on major roads, including Sharae Faisal, University Road, MA Jinnah Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan and Rashid Minhas Road. Thoroughfares virtually turned into canals while several cars and motorbikes broke down in the middle of the roads.

People faced extreme difficulties in reaching their homes as vast portions of Sharae Faisal, University Road and other thoroughfares were inundated with rainwater and sewage. The disastrous situation was a testament to the lack of work and planning by the authorities ahead of the monsoon season.

In parts of the city, such as Surjani Town, Orangi Town and Liaquatabad, nullahs and drains overflowed and water mixed with sewage entered homes, causing extreme inconvenience to people.

Police and rescue services officials said at least four persons, including a 10-year old, died in rain-related mishaps in Karachi, while several persons were injured, who were shifted to hospitals.

Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, along with KWSB and KMC officials, visited different city areas and directed the officials to clear water from roads and low-lying areas. Later, he told a news conference that all roads had been cleared of rainwater and “now vehicles are plying freely.”

The PMD officials said the Gulshan-e-Hadeed area received the highest amount of rainfall where 86.2mm of rain was recorded followed by the University Road area and Gulistan-e-Jauhar where 80mm of rain was recorded from Sunday morning till evening.

Surjani Town witnessed 72.7mm, North Karachi 61.9mm, Jinnah Terminal 58mm, 74mm at the Model Observatory at the Met Complex in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, 23mm at the Masroor Base, 49.2mm at the Faisal Base, 28mm at Nazimabad, 51mm at Saddar, 23mm at Landhi and 50.8mm at Keamari, said PMD officials.

“There is a chance of more rain/showers during midnight followed by moderate rain till Monday afternoon," said the chief meteorological officer.

Another PMD official, Anjum Zaigham, said Karachi could experience another moderate to heavy rain spell on Sunday night and the system would clear on Monday and “now there is no system behind it that could cause rain in the city till next Sunday”.

Several city areas were deprived of electricity on Sunday soon after the rain started as hundreds of feeders tripped. Several areas of the city were without electricity till the filing of this report.

The K-Electric said that rain-related power outages deprived many areas of power, adding that their teams were working to restore power while in some areas, electricity was suspended due to inundation of roads so that “precious human lives could be saved”. However, at least four people died from electrocution in different areas of the city, according to police and rescue officials.

LAHORE: Moderate but scattered rain was observed in the city on Sunday while the Met office predicted similar weather conditions for the next 24 hours.

The rain started in the afternoon and continued till evening. All underpasses on the Canal Bank Road become shelters for motorcyclists due to which traffic was blocked at some points. Islamabad and Rawalpindi also witnessed rain on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast rain-wind-thundershowers in lower Sindh, lower Balochistan, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, upper Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and adjoining hilly areas in the next 24 hours. Heavy falls are also expected in some lower parts of Sindh and Balochistan. Hot and humid weather is expected elsewhere in the country.

During the past 24 hours, rain wind/thundershowers occurred in Sindh, upper/lower Balochistan, Islamabad, upper Punjab, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir.

Rainfall (mm) recorded at Sindh: Karachi, Gulshan-e-Hadeed 86mm, Islamkot 34mm, Padidan 30mm, Badin 28mm, Diplo 24mm, Mithi, Dahli 09mm, Kaloi 05mm, Chhor 02mm, Jacobabad, Hyderabad 01mm. Punjab: Islamabad (Bokra 53, Golra 52mm, AP 28mm, Saidpur 13mm, ZP 10mm), Rawalpindi (Chaklala 52mm, Shamsabad 18mm), Chakwal 13mm, Murree 06mm, Attock, Bahawalnagar 02mm, Lahore (AP 02mm). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Saidu Sharif 20mm, upper Dir 18mm, Malam Jabba 04mm, Kakul 01mm. Balochistan: Kalat 09mm, Khuzdar, Turbat 06mm, Quetta, Pasni 02mm, Gilgit-Baltistan: Bunji 02mm. Sunday’s highest maximum temperature’s (°C): Nokkundi 46°C, Dalbandin 45°C and Sibbi 43°C. Seasonal low lies over western Balochistan.

Monsoon currents are penetrating the southern and eastern parts of the country. A westerly wave is also affecting the western parts of the country.