One dead, another injured as latest spell of rain lashes parts of Karachi

Published August 6, 2020
A motorcyclist (C) wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against Covid-19 makes his way on a street in Karachi on Thursday. — AFP
A motorcyclist (C) wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against Covid-19 makes his way on a street in Karachi on Thursday. — AFP
A labourer covers himself as he pushes a cart on a street under the rain in Karachi on August 6. — AFP
A labourer covers himself as he pushes a cart on a street under the rain in Karachi on August 6. — AFP

A 28-year-old man died while another was injured in separate incidents as yet another spell of rain accompanied by gusty winds battered parts of Karachi on Thursday, hospital officials said.

Salahuddin lost his life after suffering an electric shock at Raheel Arcade in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) to fulfil legal formalities.

In another incident, a 30-year-old man, identified as Anwar, suffered head injuries when a billboard fell on him near the Avari Towers hotel. He was shifted to the JPMC for first aid. Dr Seemin Jamali said his condition was out of danger.

The Met Office recorded a maximum 56mm of rain at PAF Faisal Base, Saddar (46mm), University Road/Jauhar (38.2mm), MOS - Old Area Airport (37.5mm), Surjani (19mm), PAF Masroor Base (14.5mm), Kemari (12.5mm), Jinnah Terminal (9.8mm), North Karachi (10.5mm), Nazimabad (10mm), Landhi (8.7mm) and Gulshan-i-Hadeed (7mm).

In the last spell of monsoon showers last week that lasted two days, at least eight people had died in various rain-related incidents in the metropolis, mostly due to electrocution.

On Thursday, Karachiites took to social media to share pictures and videos from the rain that brought cool winds after days of hot and humid weather.

However, some residents reported that rainwater had accumulated on roads in a matter of minutes after the rain started.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department had earlier this week issued an urban flooding warning for Karachi and Hyderabad in which it predicted a monsoon spell in Sindh and parts of Balochistan from Thursday (today) to Saturday (August 8).

As the downpour began, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab visited different areas of the city's South district to review the work being carried out for drainage, according to a statement.

He said drainage work was underway in low-lying areas using generators and other machinery. He directed officials to ensure that water does not accumulate on roads, the press release said.

"The work of cleaning the drains of Karachi is going on on an emergency basis," Wahab was quoted as saying. "The drains of the city are not under Sindh government. All drains are under MC (municipal corporation) and DMCs (district municipal corporations). Despite this, the Sindh government is fulfilling this responsibility."

To prevent the roads from being inundated as seen during last week's heavy rains, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been working to clean Karachi's major storm-water drains on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives.

On Tuesday, the NDMA had said in a statement that during the large-scale desilting of the city’s nullahs being carried out by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and the Sindh government, 4,364 tonnes of sludge was removed.

“The Sindh government has agreed to clean 19 nullahs of the city while FWO has been tasked to remove garbage from Gujjar, Korangi and Mowach Goth nullahs. The focus is to remove debris from 21 choked points of these nullahs. Some 24 excavators, two loaders, 90 dumpers and 224 labours are engaged in the cleansing operation,” it had added.

In his remarks, Wahab said the Sindh government was "grateful" to the NDMA for taking up the task of cleaning three major drains of the city.

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