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July 28, 2020

Failure of provincial govt: Mild rain sinks vast areas of Karachi

Top Story

July 28, 2020

KARACHI: An hours long, intense, but mild 34mm rain in the vast areas of Central, East and West districts of Karachi on Monday caused mayhem, claiming four more lives and unleashing urban flooding in large parts of these districts due to already choked and clogged storm drains, leading to immense hardships to thousands of people stranded on the roads, officials and rescue services said. After Monday's four deaths, the figureof total casualties across the city since Sunday rose to nine.

Karachi’s northwestern areas including Nazimabad, Orangi town, Liaquatabad and adjoining areas were the worst-affected due to the spell of rain that caused urban-flooding, causing the already choked and clogged storm drains and sewerage network to overflow. It inundated most of the surrounding roads, causing hours long traffic jams as broken down cars and motorbikes littered the roads and thousands of hapless people were seen dragging them along in waist deep water. In some areas of the city in District Central, four to five feet deep water accumulated, which submerged parked cars and motorbikes while in low-lying areas of Orangi Town, the filthy sewage entered homes.

“The northwestern parts of Karachi including North Nazimabad, Surjani, Orangi Town as well as some areas of district East including Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal received heavy showers under the influence of a 'weakening monsoon system' that moved away from Karachi but not before causing strong rain in Karachi and the adjoining areas of Balochistan,” said Abdul Qayyum Bhutto, Director Met, Karachi, while talking to The News on Monday. Denying reports of any unprecedented rain or ‘cloud burst’, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) official said it was a normal monsoon spell of around 34mm of rain in North Nazimabad, adding that the Met office had issued prior warnings and forecast of rains. “North Nazimabad received 34mm of rain followed by Gulistan-e-Jauhar 10.2mm, North Karachi 8.8mm of rain,” the Director Met Karachi said adding that now the system had moved away from Karachi and weakened as well.

In the aftermath of the rains and mostly due to snapping of wires, as many as four people died in Liaquatabad, Baldia and Orangi Town, police and hospital service officials confirmed adding that one person died in Liqauatabad when the walls of his house collapsed due to intense rain. The injured person was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital but succumbed to injures during treatment.

Three people were electrocuted in Baldia Town and Orangi Town areas, police said adding that two labourers were electrocuted in Baldia Town while one person was electrocuted in Orangi Town.

So far, nine people have lost their lives since Sunday during rain-related incidents in Karachi, the city police confirmed adding that some of the victims injured in the accidents were also under treatment at various health facilities.

The choked sewerage system and the storm drains added to the woes of the city dwellers as they faced the brunt in the last two days of mild rains (28mm Sunday, 34mm Monday) when vast areas of Karachi’s District Central and West areas were inundated after nullahs overflowed and sewage-mixed rainwater caused urban flooding in Orangi Town, Liaquatabad, North Karachi and in the other northwestern parts of the city. The worst-affected area of the city was Orangi Town when nullahs and drains, which are filled with garbage and filth but not cleaned by the Sindh government, overflowed after Monday's heavy rain, causing urban flooding and the sewage-mixed rainwater entered into homes of people, damaging household items in many cases. Residents were rescued by volunteers of welfare organizations. The Aligarh area of the Orangi Town was the worst-affected where the volunteers of Al-Khidmat Welfare Society rushed to rescue students of a female seminary. People were so alarmed by the scale of devastation that 'Azans' were called from mosques.

Similarly, several areas of District Central including Hyderi, various blocks of North Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Lasbela, Golimar, North Karachi and adjoining areas experienced extreme difficulties as most of the nullahs and drains overflowed, inundating roads and streets while in some areas, cars and motorcycles were found floating in the heavy currents of water. These areas witnessed heavy traffic jams, till the filing of this report as motorists were stranded and faced hardships in returning to homes.

As usual large areas of city remained without electricity following the rain. People from Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, North Nazimabad, Orangi Town, Golimar, Liaquatabad, North Karachi, New Karachi, Baldia, as well as PECHS complained of hours long power outages and in some areas, power was not restored even after eight hours of the rain.

The K-Electric conceded that rain-related outages and power breakdowns due to local faults had occurred in many city areas, claiming that their teams were working to restore power.