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August 27, 2020

Relief and rescue operation continues in flooded areas of Karachi as rain relents

Karachi

August 27, 2020

After the downpour on Tuesday, Karachi received light rain on Wednesday under the influence of a strong monsoonal system as it drifted away from the city and moved towards Balochistan and upper Sindh, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said, adding that light to moderate rain was still possible in Karachi on Thursday morning.

“The strong monsoonal system that caused heavy rains on Tuesday, drifted away from lower Sindh and moved towards Balochistan and upper Sindh. But some areas of the city received light to moderate rain on Wednesday,” Sindh Chief Meteorological Officer Sardar Sarfraz said while talking to The News on Wednesday.

PMD officials said Karachi had received record-breaking rains in August 2020 so far and after Tuesday’s unprecedented spell, 345 millimetres of rain had been recorded at the Faisal Base during the current month, whereas, previously 298.4 mm of rain had been recorded at the base in 1984.

Sarfraz maintained that Karachi could receive more rains from August 29 till August 31, 2020, under the influence of an offshore trough, saying light to moderate rain with some isolated heavy falls were expected in the city from the night of August 29 till August 31.

Relief activities

In the meantime, relief activities continued in Malir and other rain-affected areas of Karachi on Wednesday with the Pakistan Army and others helping out marooned people in the metropolis after torrential rains left residents of several low-lying areas stranded.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), "Army Engineers' machinery including heavy plant effort is in progress to stop water flow from Malir Nadi by refilling the breached area."

Water in the Malir River had been reduced and backflow from Quaidabad to the river had begun, said the military's media wing, adding that boats had been deployed in various areas to shift the stranded people to safer places.

The ISPR maintained that more than 200 families had been marooned on rooftops due to heavy flooding in the Malir River, Kohi Goth and Dur Muhammad Goth.

“Cooked meal is being provided to affected population struck due to heavy rains. Due to heavy water current at the moment, Army helicopters will be flown to rescue these families after weather clearance.”

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday had directed the military troops to set up relief operations in Karachi to assist the people affected by heavy rains. “Troops must reach out to affected population in distress and extend all necessary care”, the army chief had said.

Faisal Edhi rescued

As Edhi Foundation head Faisal Edhi was active in rescue operations in the areas surrounding the Malir River, his boat capsized on Wednesday. Fortunately, some fishermen on a fishing boat spotted and rescued him and others, and shifted them to Ibrahim Hyderi.

According to a PTI spokesperson, Edhi was patrolling the river in a boat with PTI MPA Raja Azhar and three others searching for people in need of rescue when their boat capsized.

Massive spell

Authorities on Wednesday said rains in Karachi from July 6 to August 25, 2020, claimed 30 lives, of whom 14 people were electrocuted, 10 died when roofs or walls of their houses collapsed and three drowned in rivers or deep ponds in the city.

Meanwhile, due to heavy rains in the catchment area of the Hub Dam that spreads over thousands of kilometers in Sindh and Balochistan, water in the dam reached above 335 feet which is four feet less than the Reservoir Level (RL) of 339 feet, WAPDA officials said adding that the dam was likely to achieve the RL of 339 feet by Thursday afternoon after which, water would start spilling out of the dam.

“We are expecting the Hub Dam RL to be achieved by tomorrow afternoon and after that water would start spilling out of the dam as heavy rains are being reported from the catchment area of the dam that is spread over 3,000 square kilometres,” an official of the WAPDA said, adding that water in the dam would be enough for three-and-a-half-year needs of Karachi and Lasbella district of Balochistan.