KARACHI/LAHORE: Torrential rain on Thursday wrought havoc on the creaky civic infrastructure of Karachi, causing massive urban flooding and widespread power outages, as the Pakistan Meteorological Department said the first monsoon spell was likely to lose its strength in the next 24 hours.
The downpour — which began in the city on Wednesday — intensified on Thursday evening, dumping a total of 54mm (a little over two inches) of rainfall over 48 hours. The Met Office said the monsoon current centred over Sindh, yielding more rainfall there than anywhere else in the country.
Rescue officials and police said seven people lost their lives in rain-related electrocutions and accidents in Karachi over the past 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the Kabul River at Nowshera was in low flood and all the other major rivers were normally flowing. Low to medium flooding was expected in the nullahs of the Ravi and Chenab along with hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan division during the period, the Flood Forecasting Bureau said.
First monsoon spell may lose strength in 24 hours
The Met Office said the rain causing moderate monsoon currents penetrating the country were likely to weaken during the next 24 hours. The shallow westerly wave affecting upper parts of the county was also likely to move eastwards during this time, gradually culminating in the current spell of windstorms and rains which had been very heavy at places.
The department said rain/dust-thundershowers with gusty winds occurred at a number of places in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas divisions, while at isolated places in Gujranwala, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Malakand, Hazara, Bannu, Kohat, Zhob, Quetta divisions and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Light rain continued in Lahore throughout the day. There were, however, brief spells of somewhat heavy rain. It was heavily overcast in the evening and the Met Office forecast more rain during the night.
It was the first working day after the Eid holidays, but attendance in offices remained thin because of rain. The maximum temperature in Lahore was 28 degrees centigrade. Karachi was the most affected though it received moderate rain by Punjab standards. The metropolis received over 54mm of rainfall since the wet spell began on Wednesday evening.
The Met Department says that in the next 24 hours mainly hot and humid weather was expected in most parts of the country. However, more rain-thundershowers with gusty winds are expected at isolated places in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Hazara divisions, lower Sindh (Hyderabad, Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions), Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Our Correspondent adds from Khuzdar: Intermittent rains, which have lashed Khuzdar district for the last 24 hours, have caused flash floods and disrupted the road communication.
The local administration, with the help of the Frontier Corps, has reached the people stranded in different areas of the district.
A large number of people, who had left for picnic in the area during the Eid holidays, were stranded by the floodwater.
Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri has taken notice of the situation and directed the PDMA and Commissioner of Kalat division Hashim Ghilzai to take immediate steps to rescue and evacuate the stranded people and vehicles from the affected areas.
“A large number of people and passengers were rescued from the affected areas after restoration of road network,” Deputy Commissioner of Khuzdar Sohail-Ur-Rehman told Dawn, adding that efforts were under way to rescue the remaining people.
According to sources, Wagor, Karkh and Mola areas were badly affected. A large number of vehicles were also stuck up in the affected areas.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2017