6 dead in rain-related incidents as first monsoon spell batters Karachi

Updated 06 Jul 2020

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Commuters drive their vehicles on a street during rain showers in Karachi on July 6. — AFP
Commuters drive their vehicles on a street during rain showers in Karachi on July 6. — AFP

Six people, including three minors, died while two others were injured in rain-related incidents in Karachi as this year's first spell of monsoon rainfall battered the metropolis.

A three-year-old girl died after the wall of her home collapsed in Malir's Shamsi society, a spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation said.

Separately, a 70-year-old woman died in a similar incident in Liaquatabad's Angara Goth, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Police Surgeon Dr Muhammad Saleem said. The body was brought to the hospital for completing legal formalities.

Further, another two men died after the roof of a house collapsed in Ibrahim Hyderi. Speaking to Dawn.com, resident Kamal Shah said that an ambulance was not available to take the victims to the hospital.

They were taken to a nearby government hospital in rickshaws, he said, adding that there were no doctors on duty either.

Meanwhile, two minors were killed and two others were injured after a wall collapsed at their home in Ibrahim Hyderi, the Edhi spokesperson said.

All four children were initially injured and taken to Indus Hospital for treatment, he said. They were then referred to National Institute of Child Health, where two of them died during treatment. The victims were nine and seven years of age.

The other two injured in the incident were currently receiving medical treatment, he said.

Rainfall recorded in different areas

Data from the meteorological department showed that 43mm of rainfall was recorded in Saddar, the highest out of all the areas in the metropolis, followed by 26mm in PAF Faisal Base and 22mm in Nazimabad.

Further, 12mm of rainfall was recorded at PAF Masroor Base, 8.8mm at Jinnah Terminal, 3.1 mm in Landhi, 1.2 mm in Surjani and 0.6 mm University Road/Johar.

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Apart from Karachi, Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Nagarparkar, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Khairpur, and Jamshoro also received rainfall with thundershowers, the department said.

Around 3mm of rainfall was recorded in Hyderabad, 2mm in Sukkur and 1mm in Jacobabad, the data showed.

In light of the risk of electrocution, K-Electric urged citizens to remain indoors and ensure they take precautions, including staying away from trees and electricity poles and to avoid handling electrical appliances with wet hands.

On July 3, the Pakistan Meteorological Department had issued a weather advisory for Sindh in which it said widespread rainfall and intermittent thundershowers were expected in several areas of the province.

In a notification, the Met department had said monsoon currents were expected to strengthen in Sindh, which would generate widespread rainfall in the province, particularly in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Jamshoro and Dadu from Sunday (night) to Tuesday.

"Heavy rainfall may also cause urban flooding in Karachi, Thatta, Badin and Hyderabad on Monday and Tuesday," it had said, urging the concerned authorities to remain alert during this period.

Speaking to Dawn.com, the department's director, Sardar Sarfaraz, had said monsoon rains will begin in the province on July 6.

"Before the monsoon, there is also a possibility of dust storms and gusty winds blowing at a speed of between 20-30 nautical miles. The rainfall is likely to continue in intervals until the early hours of the morning on July 8."

He had added that the temperature was expected to rise before the rainfall as a result of the sea breeze being cut off. "It can go up to 48 or 49 degrees Celsius."

73 have died since 2014

More than 70 persons lost their lives in rain-related incidents between 2014 and 2019.

Data compiled by hospitals and figures appearing in the mainstream media suggest that since 2014 only one year had witnessed zero deaths; the city did not receive rain in 2018.

According to the six-year data, 73 persons had lost their lives in rain-related incidents in the city.