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Six die as flash floods wreak havoc across Balochistan: Eight more die in rain-related incidents in Karachi

Top Story

August 9, 2020

Six die as flash floods wreak havoc across Balochistan: Eight more die in rain-related incidents in Karachi

KARACHI: At least eight more persons, including children, died in separate incidents of electrocution and drowning in different areas of Karachi as intermittent rain continued to lash various areas of the city on the third consecutive day on Saturday. It caused inundation of several roads and low-lying areas while vast city areas remained without electricity for several hours, authorities said.

On the other hand, six people died in rain related incidents in Balochistan, which witnessed flash flooding in many districts. The Balochistan government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani said a flood-like situation was forming in the province, with dams overflowing due to persistent rain in the province for the last two days.

With eight more deaths, 17 people have lost their lives in Karachi due to rain-related incidents, including electrocution and drowning, police and rescue service officials said while the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said up to 46 millimeters of rain was received in some areas of the city, which added to miseries of people as sewage-mixed rainwater caused immense hardships for the motorists and pedestrians.

“Intermittent showers continued to lash various areas of the city on the third consecutive day under the influence of a monsoon system, which had weakened by the Saturday evening. Some city areas including Surjani received over 46mm of rain since Saturday morning while most of the city areas received between 11 to 36mm of rain on Saturday,” Director Met Karachi, Abdul Qayyum Bhutto, said while talking to The News on Saturday evening.

He maintained that during the last three days, Shahrah-e-Faisal received the highest rain where 171mm of rain was recorded, followed by Surjani and Gulshan-e-Hadeed areas which received around 150mm of rain while some city areas, including Jinnah Terminal, received only 55mm of rain in the last three days. He added that the rain causing system was almost over and now only light rain was possible due to local developments as the system had moved away from Karachi.

An 18-year old man, identified as Shahid Pervaiz was electrocuted in Ittehad Town whose body was shifted to the Civil Hospital, Karachi, while a 45-year old man, Anees Hussain died due to electrocution in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Block 16.

In another incident, a six-year-old boy was electrocuted at his residence in Madina Colony, North Karachi, identified as Abdur Rehman while a 35-year-old man was electrocuted in Jodia Bazaar area, who could not be identified.

In the Liaquatabad area of the city, an eight-year-old child who was identified as Jawad Farooq was electrocuted. The body was shifted to the Abbassi Shaheed Hospital for legal formalities.

On the other hand, body of seven-year-old boy Shahzaib, who had drowned in a nullah during heavy rains yesterday, was recovered, police said.

Two persons also died in the Jahanabad area of Lyari on Saturday when the roof of a dilapidated house caved in, killing both Muhammad Anwar and Muhammad Raza on the spot, police said adding that it was raining when the roof collapsed.

Heavy rains in different areas of the city caused inundation of several roads in the city and dozens of vehicles and motorbikes broke down in the middle of waist-deep water which had not been cleared from various areas till the filing of this report.

The Malir River overflowed due to heavy showers in its catchment areas, causing inundation of the Korangi Causeway and Korangi Crossing and the city administration had to deploy police to prevent motorists from using both the roads.

Several other roads including the University Road, M.A Jinnah Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan and several other streets and thoroughfares in the city turned into ponds while in the old city areas, personnel of army’s Engineering Corps and Rangers were called in to drain water from the roads. At many places, efforts were underway to drain the water from roads and low lying areas.

Over 350 feeders of power utility K-Electric tripped during the rain and vast areas of the city remained without power for several hours on Saturday, while power utility service officials said their teams were working to restore power.

The areas which suffered prolonged power breakdowns were North Karachi and New Karachi areas, Surjani and adjoining areas, several blocks of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, different areas of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, various pockets of Federal B Area, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad and North Nazimabad, several areas of old city areas including Garden and Soldier Bazaar, vast areas in Malir, Korangi and Landhi areas.

The power utility service conceded prolonged power cuts in some city areas, saying due to technical faults, some areas witnessed power failures while in some areas, electricity was disconnected as precautionary measure, adding that efforts were underway to restore power in city areas.

News Desk adds: Storm water drains overflowed causing urban flooding even in developed localities of the city with rainwater entering houses, causing severe misery for their residents. The Korangi Causeway and EBM Causeway had to be closed for traffic as massive flow of water was reported in the Malir River. A few vehicles and motorcycles were stuck there that were later rescued. The road from Chamra Chowrangi towards the Baloch Colony was also closed for traffic resulting in massive traffic jams.

Residents of District Korangi and other commuters were advised to use the Jam Sadiq Flyover to reach Korangi. As the two-lane flyover could not handle the traffic diverted there due to the closure of the two causeways, it caused a massive traffic jam on the bridge in the evening.

Meanwhile, in District West, Hub Road and Habib Chowrangi were completely flooded with rainwater. The roads surrounding the KDA Chowrangi in District Central were also submerged, bringing the traffic to a standstill for hours. Likewise, the Five Star Chowrangi, Sakhi Hassan, Qalandria Chowk, Peoples Chowrangi, Landikotal, Gulberg and Nagan Chowrangi areas were also flooded in the district.

“After every mild or intense rainfall, Nagan Chowrangi is flooded,” one of the residents, Arsalan Ali, told The News, adding that knee-deep water was a usual sight at Nagan Chowrangi. “Not once, but several times the district authorities have cleaned the drains, but water always overflows,” he lamented.

A road in the Ayesha Manzil area caved in and a water tanker fell into a deep pothole. A resident of the area, Hunain Amin, said the road was alright before the rainfall. The road from Water Pump towards Peoples Chowrangi also developed huge ditches of seven to eight inches. “The government should close this road for traffic movement completely,” said a resident, Waqas, adding that the ditches were so huge that four-wheelers or motorcycles could not pass through them.

Meanwhile, in District East, several areas of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, including the portion of University Road in front of Safari Park, Civic Centre and Baitul Mukarram Masjid, were flooded. Rashid Minhas Road in front of the Alladin Park was also badly flooded where several motorcycles, cars and rickshaws broke down.

Many portions of Sharae Faisal including Natha Khan Flyover, Star Gate and Ayesha Bawani School also remained flooded for hours.

In District South, the road leading to the Chief Minister’s House in front of PIDC was inundated while no government machinery was in sight for hours for drainage work. The Aiwan-e-Sadar Road and the road from Uncle Saria Hospital all the way till Gul Plaza were also submerged by rainwater.

In a statement, KE expressed grief over the electrocution incidents in Karachi reported by the media. It said that being a caring corporate entity, it had been regularly raising precautionary and safety messages about rains for the well-being of citizens.

The power utility claimed that the nine electrocution incidents reported on August 7 and 8 had been caused by damaged wires that were not the properties of KE, water motors and especially illegal Kundas.

Offering condolences to the bereaved families, a spokesperson for the power utility clarified that no electrocution incidents had happened due to the KE infrastructure.

The KE also maintained that it had written to the electrical inspector time and again regarding the safety hazards caused by internal wiring and illegal constructions. It added that it would continue to work with the local authorities to create a safe environment for the people of Karachi.

Agencies add from Quetta: At least six people died in Balochistan after heavy rains wreaked havoc in large parts of the province, causing flash flooding in Mastung, Khuzdar, Harnai, Noshki, Loralai, Kohlu, Dhadar, and Dera Bugti, leaving massive devastation in their wake on Saturday. The situation caused cutting off the communication links between several cities suspending traffic and left hundreds of cars stranded.

Seven people were swept away in Nasirabad. Quetta and Sibi was cut off. Gas supply to Quetta was also cut off. Cattle were reported to have been swept away by the water, crops were severely damaged and walls of mud houses caved in.

The Balochistan government spokesperson, Liaquat Shahwani, said the province was facing a flood-like situation, with dams overflowing due to persistent rain in the province for the last two days. He said that at least 21 districts have been adversely affected by the downpour. Shahwani added that the chief minister was supervising the situation and that tents and other aid was being sent to affected areas. “We are working on opening Gwadar, Bolan and other roads,” he added. He advised people to avoid any unnecessary travel. The Met Office on Friday had issued a weather advisory for rains and thundershowers and had warned of flash flooding in the local nullahs.

Flash floods occurred in Mastung, Khuzdar, Harnai, Noshki, Loralai, Kohlu, Dhadar, and Dera Bugti, causing massive devastation in their wake. Moreover, at the M-8 Gwadar-Ratodero Highway, landsliding caused another disruption in the flow of traffic. On the Makran Coastal Highway to Gwadar, Badok bridge was destroyed by floods, suspending the traffic between Gwadar to Lasbela and Karachi. Scores of vehicles were stuck on the way.

While Zhob saw the second consecutive day of rains, with streams on Koh-e-Suleman flooded, the Ziarat Valley also witnessed rain for the third day on Saturday. The rains also cut off communication to many villages of the Bolan district’s Machh town and movement on the portion of the National Highway close to the town was affected.

According to Levies force sources, 4-5 foot high flash floods hit the Dhadhar town. Vehicles bound for Quetta were stopped at Dhadhar, whereas vehicles coming from Quetta were stopped at Kolpur.

Meanwhile, in Bolan, the National Highway was closed after the Garai Nullah overflowed seriously impacting the flow of traffic. Hundreds of cars were stranded at both ends of the highway. Severe flooding also occurred in Wadh and Mola tehsils of the Khuzdar district. The district administration ordered the evacuation of people housed in temporary shelters along the river banks.

In Chaman, strong gusts of winds blew away poles, disrupting the power supply for the last two days. In Kohlu, the Sonari bridge was swept away by the heavy rainfall and the city lost all ground communication with Sibi and Quetta. Many of the suburbs were also inundated.

Similarly, in district Lasbela’s Hub Jam Colony, Union Council Pathra, Magsi Mohalla, Union Council Berot were more affected. A Nullah overflowed in the Magsi Mohalla where two persons were rescued from Band Murad by locals and police.

The recent rains have also caused damage to the Nai Gaj Dam, resulting in the breach of the flood protection dyke of the dam, the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.

As a result, at least 12 villages of Dadu district have been badly affected, the ISPR said.

"Army troops, including army engineers, along with, motorboats and army medical teams have reached affected areas for rescue and relief efforts," it added.