Saturday October 16, 2021

Heavy rain wreaks havoc in Karachi

September 04, 2021
Heavy rain wreaks havoc in Karachi

KARACHI: Different areas of the city continued to receive moderate to heavy showers on Friday under the influence of a monsoon system that is present in the south southeast of Karachi, said the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

“Moderate to heavy showers have been reported from various city areas under the influence of a low pressure area that is persisting in the south southeast of Karachi and under its influence, moderate showers are expected on Friday night as well as on Saturday in the city,” Director Met Karachi Sardar Sarfraz told The News on Friday.

According to the PMD data, the Saadi Town area of the city received the highest amount of rainfall where around 50 millimetres of rain was reported till the filing of this report, followed by the University Road where 50mm of rain had been reported during two spells.

Several other city areas had received over 20mm of rain, including old airport, Jinnah Terminal, PAF Base Masroor and PAF Base Faisal, Surjani and Kemari, the PMD official said, adding that North Karachi received around 30mm of rain while DHA also received over20mm of rain during two spells.

Sarfraz maintained that the rain causing system or low pressure area would get weak by Saturday but it would still had the potential to cause moderate showers in different areas of the city till Saturday night, adding that there could also be some occasional heavy falls in the city.

To a query, he said skies in Karachi would be clear by Sunday but added that another rain-causing system would enter Pakistan on September 07, 2021. He said under its influence, there were chances of more showers in the city after September 10 but added that a detailed forecast in this regard would be issued later.

Meanwhile, the rain lashed different parts of the city on Friday, causing urban flooding in various areas of the city along with electric supply suspension. One of the most upscale areas, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) was once again flooded this year. The area’s two municipal bodies, DHA and Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), had made tall claims of laying proper drainage system after last year’s unprecedented floods.

Immediately after the rain started on Friday, power outages were reported in multiple areas of the city, such as Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Surjani Town, Boat Basin, Korangi, Shah Faisal Town, Ranchore Line, Keamari, Khadda Market, Sultanabad, North Karachi, areas of Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Akhter Colony, and Lyari. The power supply to more than 270 feeders was reportedly suspended.

Massive traffic jams were reported on Sharae Faisal, University Road, Rashid Minhas Road, NIPA, Sharae Pakistan and other main or small arteries of the city. Traffic jam was also reported at Metropole Chowrangi later in the evening. Baloch Colony, Nursery, Karsaz were also clogged for traffic movement.

At the University Road, rainwater accumulated before the Nipa Flyover and in front of the Safari Park, however, the water was removed within a few hours by the District Municipal Corporation (DMC) East.

In Gulistan-e-Jauhar, areas under the jurisdiction of Cantonment Board Faisal were inundated but the rainwater was drained out in few hours. The Karachi’s District Central as always was in a very bad shape. The Nagan Chowrangi as usual flooded and traffic movement was barred. Portions of Sharae Pakistan and Sharae Usman were also flooded mainly because of garbage presence and encroachments in the area over drains.

The DHA’s Phase VI, Nishat Commercial area was completely drowned in rainwater and the residents complained that CBC officials weren’t responding. Khayaban-e-Seher’s Street 21 was also completely flooded while the entry points of Sea View apartments were also under water.

The CBC in a media statement said it was taking measures for drainage of water in various areas falling under its jurisdiction. According to the statement, the CBC was fully prepared to combat any rain-related issues. The cantonment board has already cancelled holidays of all its officials. Dewatering pumps have been installed in different areas of the CBC and rain drains have already been cleaned. A CBC spokesperson claimed to have completed 90 percent of the drainage work in its area. The CBC has also deployed heavy machinery which will be helpful in draining rainwater from empty plots.

Also, Administrator Karachi Barrister Murtaza Wahab visited different places of the city after the Friday’s rainfall. He reprimanded the staff for not being able to drain rainwater timely and directed to take immediate steps for drainage of water.

“If rainwater is seen on the roads, action will be taken against the concerned officers and staff,” he said while talking at Safari Park during his visit to District East management. The Metropolitan Commissioner, Afzal Zaidi, and other officials were also present on the occasion.

Wahab visited District Central’s Liaquatabad, Karimabad, Teen Hatti and Lasbela; District South’s Sir Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi Gymkhana and District East’s Metropole Chowk and University Road to review the drainage arrangements.

While visiting different areas of Malir and South districts, the administrator directed the concerned staff to expedite the drainage work so that there would be no water stagnation on the roads. He also visited the I I Chundrigar Road and adjoining areas and met the citizens to find out their problems.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab said before the onset of rains, drainage machinery and pumps were delivered to different areas due to which the situation remained under control. He said that KMC, District Municipal Corporations (DMCs), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), City Warden and Traffic Police are all working together and they are trying to provide maximum relief to the citizens. “Special attention is being paid to the places where there are choking points. This work will continue even in case of further rains. Relevant staff will be present in the field,” he said and added that he himself would visit the city regularly to monitor the drainage situation.

Commissioner Karachi Navid Shaikh in a press statement on Friday said that the city administration was alert to tackle rain-related issues in the city. He said that all the deputy commissioners and assistant commissioner are in the field and monitoring rain related activities.

As sporadic bursts of heavy rain hit Karachi on Friday, K-Electric ensured the power supply to the city and its adjoining areas remained stable.

In a press statement, the power utility said that it remained vigilant and continued to monitor the situation as the rain intensified. The majority of the utility’s distribution network of 1,900 feeders remained stable and continued to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity. KE’s team also ensured swift restoration of power supply following disruptions in some areas due to the tripping of a few feeders.

Supply to areas with high incidence of theft and kunda usage was preemptively shut down in the interest of the safety of residents; the supply was restored after receiving clearance from KE’s ground teams. To keep consumers informed about city’s power situation, the K-Electric also broadcast live updates via its official social media channels.

KE teams also proactively investigated reports of an unfortunate incident reported from the Chapal Gali area of Lighthouse on Friday. Initial findings suggest that the incident occurred inside a building where the deceased was electrocuted by coming into contact with internal wiring while reportedly attempting to cut the wires.