An unexpected but strong spell of rain following a dust storm in different areas of Karachi on Wednesday evening resulted in the deaths of at least four people, including three children, massive traffic jams on major thoroughfares due to the accumulation of rainwater, and electricity outages in several areas.
“An unexpected movement of rain-causing cells towards Karachi from Lasbela and Uthal in Balochistan caused light to moderate rain after a strong dust storm in different areas of Karachi. The highest amount of rain was recorded in Nazimabad at 38mm,” said Dr Sardar Sarfaraz, Sindh’s chief meteorological officer.
A strong spell of rain and wind storm resulted in the deaths of three children and an adult in Malir’s Millat Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Chanesar Goth, where roofs and walls collapsed due to strong winds and heavy rain, according to police and rescue officials.
Dr Sarfaraz said that there were little chances of rain in Karachi under the influence of a rain-causing system active in the country, but extreme heating conditions in the city and the extra-moist conditions provided excellent conditions for the rain-causing cells to drift towards Karachi and cause rain.
“Earlier in the day, we were not sure of the rain, but as soon as rain cells started forming in the evening in Balochistan and started moving towards Karachi, we shared the possibility of rain with the PDMA as well as the media.”
According to the Met Office, 22mm of rain was recorded at the Jinnah Terminal, 15mm in the old airport area, 8mm at the PAF Base Faisal, 7.2mm in DHA, 5.8mm at the Met Complex and 4.4mm in Gulshan-e-Maymar, while other areas of the city recorded less than 3mm or traces of rain.
Rainwater accumulated in many areas, especially in Nazimabad, North Nazimabad and their adjoining areas, causing massive traffic jams on the roads as people were on their way home from work when the rain started unexpectedly.
Massive traffic jams were also witnessed on Sharea Faisal’s track leading to the Karachi airport due to the accumulation of rainwater, while University Road also witnessed massive traffic jams near the Nipa Bridge and in front of the Safari Park.
Reports of traffic jams were also received from areas, including Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Federal B Area, Liaquatabad, Malir and Model Colony, while the traffic police said their officials were on roads to help the stranded people. Strong torrents of rain on Tariq Road, Khalid Bin Waleed Road and other arteries also caused inconvenience to motorists and bikers.
There were reports of injuries of motorcyclists who slipped on the roads due to rain and heavy winds, according to rescue officials, saying that those requiring medical attention were taken to different nearby hospitals and health facilities.
Until the filing of this report, massive power breakdowns were being reported in different areas following the dust storm and rain due to tripping of electricity feeders, while teams of K-Electric were trying to restore the supply.
Four people, including three children, were killed in different rain-related incidents as heavy rains with strong winds lashed various parts of the city, adds our correspondent.
Rain and thunderstorm were reported in Nursery, Landhi, Malir, Saddar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Orangi, Korangi, Clifton, Defence, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Bahadurabad, II Chundrigar Road, Nazimabad, Sharea Faisal, North Nazimabad, Clifton and other areas. Seven-year-old Saim, son of Danish, and six-year-old Harmain, son of Mehmood Ahmed, were killed after the roof of a house collapsed on top of them in Shah Faisal Colony’s Millat Town. The casualties were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
Another minor boy, identified as eight-year-old Hawesh Diyal, was killed due to a wall collapse in Mehmoodabad’s Chanesar Goth. His body was taken to the JPMC. Fifty-year-old Tariq was also killed due to a wall collapse in Gulshan-e-Ayesha, Mosamiyat. His body was taken to the JPMC.
Earlier, two men drowned while bathing in a river near Boat Basin in the limits of the Jackson police station. After receiving information, rescue workers started a search but were unable to recover them, and the operation had to be stopped eventually due to darkness.