Third monsoon spell brings little relief for Karachiites

Updated 26 Jul 2020

Email

People wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26.  — AFP
People wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26. — AFP
People wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26.  — AFP
People wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26. — AFP

At least five people, including two children, died in rain-related incidents on Sunday as the third monsoon spell of the season wreaked havoc in Karachi, flooding low-lying areas, inundating roads and causing power outages.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rainfall in several districts of Sindh today and tomorrow (July 27).

People wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26.  — AFP
People wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on July 26. — AFP

"Monsoon currents of moderate intensity continue to penetrate in Sindh. Under the influence of this system, moderate rain/thunderstorms and gusty winds with rather heavy falls at times are likely in all districts of Sindh, including Karachi, today and tomorrow," the department said.

Data from the Met department showed that Karachi received a maximum 86.2mm of rain at Gulshan-i-Hadeed, Karachi MOS (49.6mm), PAF Masroor Base (23mm), PAF Faisal Base (49.2mm), North Karachi (61.9mm), Nazimabad (28mm), Saddar (51mm), Landhi (23mm), University Road (80.8mm) Jinnah Terminal (58mm), Kemari (50.8mm) and Surjani (72.7mm).

Meanwhile, K-Electric (KE) stated that the power supply of low-lying areas had been shut down due to water-logging which created "a safety hazard".

"Our teams are working continuously so please be assured we aim to restore power as soon as it is safe to do so," the power utility said in a tweet.

KE also urged citizens to refrain from making false calls on their 118 helpline. "Please only call 118 in the event of life-threatening emergency such as sparks, fire, live wires or downed PMT/poles. False emergency calls create more wait times for everyone as we have to switch off the entire area."

5 dead in rain-related incidents

At least five people, including two children, also died in Karachi in rain-related incidents on Sunday.

Steel Town SHO Shakir Ali said that a 10-year-old boy, identified as Arbab, died after coming into contact with a fallen electricity wire in Gulshan-i-Hadeed while playing outside his home. He said that the child's family did not want to pursue the case legally.

Further, a 27-year-old man died after falling into a rainwater drain in Orangi Town. Pakistan Bazaar SHO Iqbal Husain Tunio said that the nala in Sector 11 1/2 was overflowing when Tariq Abid, who was on a motorcycle, fell into it.

The water carried his body which was later retrieved by rescue workers from the Edhi Foundation.

In addition, 22-year-old Usman Akhter died after being electrocuted by a fallen electricity wire in Qazafi Town, Landhi, said police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi; the body was taken to Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre.

A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation added that 18-year-old Osama Iqbal was also injured in the incident and had suffered burns.

Separately, 55-year-old Yusuf died after being electrocuted at Fawara Chowk in Garden area, according to a spokesperson for Chippa. He added that the body had been shifted to Civil Hospital.

Garden SHO Fida Hussain said that a police mobile has been sent to the area to ascertain how the incident occurred.

Meanwhile, a five-year-old boy drowned in a drain at Vita Chowangi in Korangi, the Edhi spokesperson said, adding that efforts were still underway to retrieve his body.

Roads flooded with rainwater

Rainwater also caused traffic jams in Karachi as roads became inundated. A spokesperson for the Pakistan Rangers said that officials reached areas that had been affected and joined rescue efforts.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

The paramilitary force also helped traffic police in rescuing commuters stuck on the roads in knee-deep water, said the spokesperson.

Karachi police chief, AIG Ghulam Nabi Memon, directed officials to help stranded motorcyclists and people traveling in four-wheelers.

A police spokesperson said that citizens were facing difficulties in different areas due to the accumulation of rainwater. Therefore, the police had joined rescue efforts. "The traffic police and district police were present on the ground performing their duty,” he said.

Meanwhile, motorway police spokesperson, Syed Turab Ali, said rainwater had accumulated on the Lyari Expressway and M-9 till Nooriabad, advising citizens to avoid travelling unnecessarily.

Taking a jibe at the Sindh government, Minister for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said that the PPP had been in government for than 12 years in Sindh, yet had failed to even clean the storm drains.

In a tweet, he said: "A spoiled brat masquerading as a politician, blames everyone for everything under the sun on TV. Criminal negligence to say the least."

Rain emergency declared at KWSB

A rain emergency was also declared at the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) on the directions of Sindh local government minister Nasir Hussain Shah, a spokesperson for the board said in a statement.

He stated that the leaves of all officials had been cancelled and all chief engineers had been sent into the field. "Machines for cleaning sewage lines and water pumps have been deployed in low-lying areas," the statement said, adding that the complaint centre would be operational all night to register complaints.

Karachi has received heavy rains in the past few weeks, wreaking havoc on the city's shaky infrastructure and leading to the deaths of several residents, including a 30-year-old policeman.

The first monsoon spell hit Karachi on in the first week of July, disrupting electricity for hours and causing traffic jams on almost every major thoroughfare. At least six people died in rain-related incidents and several roads and buildings suffered heavy damages due to flooding.

On July 18, Karachi saw the second spell of heavy rain which led to the deaths of at least two people, including a policeman. The city suffered similar losses, including traffic jams, flooding of roads and destruction of infrastructure.