Friday February 23, 2024

One dead, seven injured as rain batters Karachi for a second day

By our correspondents
September 14, 2022

Different areas of Karachi received moderate to heavy rain for the second consecutive day on Tuesday under the influence of two weather systems over Indian Gujarat and Central India, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said, and warned that some localities might receive light to moderate rain on Wednesday (today).

“Due to two low-pressure areas over Indian Gujarat and Central India, sea breeze towards Karachi was suspended for the past few days, which provided convective energy for local developments, and different areas received moderate to heavy rain following strong winds,” Sindh’s Chief Meteorological Officer Dr Sardar Sarfaraz told The News.

Commenting on Karachi’s rain spells of Monday and Tuesday, he said they had forecast rain in the city on Tuesday, but the Monday afternoon spell was a little unexpected, as it was caused due to local developments because of intense heating conditions in the country.

Showers in different areas of Karachi caused inundation of roads and low-lying areas in the city, causing massive traffic jams on some of the thoroughfares. According to the PMD, Korangi received the heaviest rain at 34.6mm, followed by Quaidabad at 28.5mm, DHA 24mm, University Road and Orangi Town 20mm, Keamari 16.2mm, Jinnah Terminal 10.6mm, old airport 9.2mm, PAF Base Masroor 9mm, PAF Base Faisal 8mm and Nazimabad 2.2mm.

PMD officials said that due to the current climatic conditions, the weather is expected to remain hot and humid over the next two days, as sea breeze will remain suspended, adding that some areas might receive light to moderate rain under the influence of local developments due to intense heating conditions.

Rain casualties

A muezzin was electrocuted to death, while three children and a woman among seven people were injured in two separate incidents of roof collapse. An Iqbal Market police official said that a muezzin died after suffering an electric shock from a microphone at a mosque in Orangi Town. He was identified as 45-year-old Qari Ameen. His body was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH).

A Pakistan Bazaar police official said that three children among four people were injured after the roof of their house collapsed on top of them in Orangi Town. The injured were identified as Shahrukh, 1, Fahad, 2, Faiz, 3, and Sarwar, 25. They were taken to ASH.

In a similar incident, the roof of the canteen at the University of Karachi collapsed and resulted in minor injuries to a woman and two other people.

City’s condition

Several areas, including major thoroughfares, were inundated with rainwater. Sharea Faisal was flooded at Nursery, while several cars and motorbikes broke down on the city’s main artery due to the submerged road, causing an hours-long traffic jam.

The city’s sole power provider, K-Electric, switched off 225 of its feeders after the rain started falling. According to the power utility, they had switched off 225 of its 1,900 feeders as a precautionary measure.

Rainwater also accumulated at Jail Chowrangi towards Peoples Secretariat, and on New MA Jinnah Road. The water caused commuters to remain stuck in traffic for hours. Mai Kolachi Road towards PIDC slowed down traffic movement for hours due to rainwater, causing problems for commuters.

Qayyumabad Chowrangi was also inundated, disrupting traffic movement on Korangi Road and the expressway. Street light poles fell on the KPT Bridge towards Korangi River during the rain. Water also submerged Stadium Road, affecting traffic movement for hours.

Traffic jams were also reported on II Chundrigar Road, around Hotel Metropole, at the Saddar Parking Plaza, on parts of Rashid Minhas Road, on the Liaquatabad Flyover, at Hassan Square and in Essa Nagri.

Traffic movement remained slow on University Road and at Nipa due to the rain. A massive traffic jam was also reported in Sohrab Goth towards Shafiq Morr due to the accumulation of rainwater.

Power situation

“During the downpour,” KE said in a press statement, “the maximum number of feeders powered down for safety reasons was not more than 225, out of which the majority were in the areas where the prevalence of Kundas or waterlogging posed a hazard to the citizens.”

However, KE added, these areas were swiftly restored once clearance was received from on-ground teams. “The city remained energised, except for the areas that were powered down for safety reasons.”

On the reports of two electrocution incidents in Baldia Town and Malir’s Kala Board, KE offered its deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the victims. “As per initial investigations, the electrocution incident in Baldia Town occurred inside a shop, while the incident in Malir’s Kala Board took place due to a street light pole,” read the statement.

No KE infrastructure was involved in the cases, and grounding and earthing of all utility installations at the incident sites were found completely intact. It is also important to note that the responsibility of installing and maintaining street light poles rests with the civic authorities concerned.”