11 killed, power outages hit Karachi as parts of Sindh experience rain

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A Pakistani motorcyclist rides on a street as their passengers try to keep dry under plastic covering during monsoon rain in Karachi on July 29. — AFP
A Pakistani motorcyclist rides on a street as their passengers try to keep dry under plastic covering during monsoon rain in Karachi on July 29. — AFP

At least 11 people were killed and three others injured due to rain-related incidents while various parts of Karachi were hit with power outages as the metropolis and other parts of Sindh experienced heavy rains on Monday.

According to officials and rescue services, Farzana, 8, was electrocuted outside her home in sector E of Akhtar Colony. In another incident, a 30-year-old man, Ismael, died of electric shock in Bath Island, Clifton, Boat Basin police said. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) to fulfil legal formalities. A man was electrocuted in Nazimabad-2, Gulbahar Police Station SHO Hidayat Husain said. He said that Qasim Zia, 39, was passing through a street near his home in Khamosh Colony when he touched an electric pole and died.

A young man died of electric shock in Defence, phase-V, according to a Chippa spokesperson. Sharafat, 30, died when he received an electric shock inside his home located on street-17 on Khayaban-i-Tanzeem. Clifton Police Station SHO Pir Shabbir Haider confirmed the death of the man due to electric current. Another 30-year-old, Saad Ahmed, died of electric shock in Sarafa Bazaar in limits of Paposh Nagar Police Station.

A teenager died of an electric shock in Gulistan-i-Jauhar. The Chippa spokesperson said 19-year-old Ghulam Rasool, was electrocuted in Park Avenue apartment, Block-19 and died. The police confirmed the incident.

Two more boys died of electric shocks in Malir City area. A policeman said that Mehrab Jibran, 10, and Umer Raza, 9, received electric current and died.

Similarly, a 12-year-old boy got critically injured when he touched an electric pole in Musharraf Colony of Mauripur area, said an Edhi spokesperson. The boy was admitted to a nearby private hospital. In another incident, a 50-year-old man, Salman Farooq, got injured when he suffered an electric shock in Machar Colony.

A 40-year-old man, Karim Shabbir, was critically injured when the roof of his house collapsed in Block-C of MPR Colony in Manghopir, said the Chippa spokesperson. He was admitted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali said that a 19-year-old man was brought dead to the hospital in the evening. She added that Irshad was electrocuted in PECHS areas.

Meanwhile, two young boys, Zaher Ahmed Arain, 16, and Saeed Arain, 12, were killed by the lightning in village Mohammad Sharif Arain near Matli town. Another boy, Sheraz, 11, was seriously injured.

Sindh Inspector General of Police Kaleem Imam directed officials to stay vigilant and ensure that citizens are safely rescued in case of emergencies. He also instructed the police force to oversee relief efforts.

Weather advisory

A weather advisory issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Department on July 25 had stated that widespread rains and wind-thunderstorms were expected from Sunday to Tuesday in Mirpurkhas, Thatta, Hyderabad, Karachi, Shaheed Benazirabad, Kalat and Makran divisions.

In Sukkur, Larkana, Zhob, Sibbi and Naseerabad divisions, scattered rains and wind thunderstorms with isolated moderate to heavy rainfall were expected.

Additionally, isolated heavy rainfall was expected in lower Sindh (Mirpurkhas, Thatta, Hyderabad, Karachi divisions) and Kalat and Makran divisions today and tomorrow.

"Heavy falls may generate urban flooding in Karachi, Thatta and Hyderabad divisions on Monday and Tuesday, while flash flooding [may occur] in Kalat, Sibbi, Zhob divisions during the period," the advisory added.

Power outages

Parts of Karachi also experienced power outages including various courts such as the Supreme Court Karachi registry, the Sindh High Court and accountability courts. This affected court proceedings resulting in most hearings being rescheduled.

In a post shared on Twitter, K-Electric said that the power supply situation was normal in most areas, while supply to a few parts of Gadap, Baldia Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Korangi had been affected due to heavy rainfall.

According to a spokesperson for the K-Electric, electricity had been restored fully or partially in North Karachi Sector 11, Nagan Chowrangi, Nipa, Block 19 of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Airport, Nazimabad Block 5, Punjab Chowrangi, Akthar Colony, Dohraji, Bahadurabad, Tariq Road, Hassan Square and the Saddar Lucky Star area. Work is underway to restore power in affected parts of Baldia, Landhi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Federal B. Area.

The spokesperson asked city dwellers to stay away from electrical wires and poles due to rain.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah called Secretary Energy Musadiq Khan and directed him to ensure that power is restored in areas that are facing breakdowns.

Civic bodies on 'high alert'

Ahead of the rain, civic bodies in Karachi were put on high alert on Saturday and vacations of all employees were cancelled.

Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani had told Dawn that he had directed the authorities of all districts to immediately initiate cleanliness work on an emergency basis and get it done before the rain.

Meanwhile, Sindh Secretary for Education Qazi Shahid Pervez issued a notification, announcing that government and private schools across the province will remain closed on Tuesday.

District officials were also instructed to ensure that water is drained from school buildings.

Other parts of Sindh

A heavy downpour caused flooding in various parts of Hyderabad including Latifabad and Qasimabad. Rainwater accumulated in all low-lying areas and on main arteries of the city. The Met Office had recorded 188mm of rain till 5pm.

The rain that had started at 3am continued intermittently till noon. Attendance at offices was low and traffic disappeared from roads while the Shahbaz Building, known as the local Sindh government secretariat, remained submerged.

Hyderabad also experienced a widespread power breakdown. The main pumping stations of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) remained shut or ran on generators.

Earlier, the CEO of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), Abdul Haq Memon, had said that power supply would not be affected much if it rained today.

Following the power breakdown, Hyderabad division Commissioner Abbas Baloch spoke to the Hesco chief and others in order to restore the electricity supply.

Baloch said that the Hesco chief was asked to ensure power supply to the feeders that supply power to Wasa’s pumping stations, adding that the Hesco official had assured that this would be done.

The abandoned Wadhu Wah (canal) received sewage from Qasimabad and was overflowing since the morning. A passage was being created in order to release the water to a nearby ground. Flooding was also reported in Latifabad, City Cloth Market area, Liaquat Colony, Fatima Jinnah Road, Station Road, Hyder Chowk, Railway Station area, parts of Qasimabad, Tulsi Das Road, Hali Road, Qadamgah Moula Ali and Sarfraz Colony.

Similarly, most parts of drought-hit Thar region were blessed with much-awaited rain on Sunday night and Monday.

According to media reports, Mithi, Chhachhro, Islamkot, Nagarparkar, Kaloi, Diplo, Chelhar, Dahli and other areas of the region received moderate to heavy rains.

In addition, Matli, Tando Ghulam Ali, Tando Bago, Talhar, Pangrio, Kadhan, Shadi Large, Khoski, Nindo Shahar, Golarchi, Kario Ghanwar, Tarai, Rajo Khanani, Khadhero, Seerani and other parts of Badin district were drenched by the heavy rainfall. The low-lying areas were inundated by the rainwater. The entire district was also hit by a massive power breakdown for more than 20 hours.