Motorists navigate rainwater on a city road on Saturday.— PPI
Motorists navigate rainwater on a city road on Saturday.— PPI

KARACHI: Four people died — three of them of electrocution — in different incidents following a fresh spell of rain that hit the city on Saturday morning and continued intermittently throughout the day.

The Met Office said that “moderate to heavy” rain was expected in Karachi on Sunday (today) and the rain system would lose its intensity by Monday afternoon.

The maximum rain, 33.4 millimetres, or 1.3 inches, was recorded in Airport area followed by Landhi (32mm), Faisal Base (25mm), Surjani Town (25mm), Masroor Base (23.5mm), Nazimabad (20.5mm), Keamari (10.2mm), Gulshan-i-Hadeed (11mm) and North Karachi 9.4mm.

Deaths by electrocution

A teenage boy, identified as Kaif Wahid, and four cows were electrocuted in Soldier Bazaar on Saturday. The boy and the cows suffered an electric shock when they stepped into accumulated rainwater outside Yasin Square.

Nabi Bux SHO Mohammed Rashid said it appeared to be the “fault” of the residents who had installed “naked wires”.

The Met Office forecasts more rain today; federal, provincial ministers and mayor take credit for draining out rainwater

In Manghopir, 25-year-old Saeed Khan died of electrocution when he tried to steal a motor pump in Mianwali Colony during rain.

Pirabad SHO Amjad Javed said the deceased was a drug addict.

Shahbaz Hussain, 24, also died of electrocution in Landhi on Saturday evening.

An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that he suffered an electric shock when he touched an electric pole in Bhains Colony.

In Sherpao Colony, Landhi, 17-year-old Mohammad Danish drowned while swimming in a pond filled with rainwater. The body was brought to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

KE says death by electrocution not its fault

A spokesperson for the K-Electric said that three incidents of electrocution were reported from Orangi Town, Soldier Bazaar and Manghopir, but “no incident can be attributed to a broken KE wire or KE pole”.

He said that all incidents were of “internal nature caused by motor pumps or wires inside buildings.”

He said that the power supply situation remained largely stable as the city was hit by a fresh wave of monsoon rains. KE’s on-ground teams were prepared and responded swiftly in case of any localised faults, which were swiftly rectified, it was claimed.

He said rainwater had accumulated around electricity installations in parts of Lines Area, Burnes Road, Malir and other adjoining low-lying areas and power supply was temporarily switched off in the interest of public safety.

He said that the KE management reached out to the city commissioner to drain out the rainwater to expedite restoration of power supply and to avoid any untoward incident.

“Power supply to strategic installations such as KWSB, airport and key hospitals remained uninterrupted and rapid response teams along with online staff remained fully engaged and ready to respond to consumer complaints and queries,” the spokesman added.

More rain today

As the monsoon currents from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are penetrating upper, central and southern parts of the country, widespread rains/wind/thunderstorm would continue in parts of Sindh and Balochistan, according to the Met department’s forecast for Sunday.

The areas where moderate to heavy rainfall is expected in Sindh and Balochistan include Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Thatta, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad divisions and parts of Larkana and Sukkur, Makran, Quetta, Zhob, Kalat, Sibbi and Nasirabad. The system would lose its intensity by Monday afternoon.

The maximum and minimum temperature recorded in Karachi was 32 degree Celsius and 27.5 degree Celsius, respectively.

Ministers and mayor take credit

PARTS of Saddar, including the area near St Patrick’s Cathedral and Empress Market, are inundated on Saturday.­—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
PARTS of Saddar, including the area near St Patrick’s Cathedral and Empress Market, are inundated on Saturday.­—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi said on Saturday that the cleaning campaign started in the city with the coordination of the federal government proved quite successful as the rainwater was being drained out in a better way due to timely cleaning of storm-water drains.

The minister was talking to reporters during a visit to the city along with Mayor Wasim Akhtar and Deputy Mayor Arshad Hasan to review the city’s situation and inspect the cleaning of drains.

The minister and the city’s municipal custodians went to several areas of the city including Hijrat Colony, PIDC, Qayyumabad, Manzoor Colony, Mehmoodabad, Admin Society, Baloch Colony, Korangi, Landhi, New Karachi, Sakhi Hasan, North Nazimabad and Orangi Town.

Mayor Akhtar said that better arrangements were made this time by taking into consideration the experience of the past. “The provincial government is not ready to provide resources to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation; therefore, we asked the federal government to cooperate,” he added.

He asked the Provincial Disaster Management Authority to help the municipal administration by providing required machinery for cleaning of drains.

Also on Saturday, Sindh Minister for Information Saeed Ghani visited various parts of East and Korangi districts.

He said that on the directives of the Sindh chief minister all the members of the cabinet visited various parts of Karachi to ensure proper and instant drainage of rainwater.

“Owing to untiring and vigorous efforts and constant supervision of the cabinet ministers, the rainwater has been drained out instantly after rain,” he said. “The Sindh ministers are constantly reviewing the situation as it is developing after rain. It would be ensured that the people of Karachi do not suffer as every Sindh government minister is present on the road to ensure instant drainage of rainwater and cleanliness of the city.”

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2019