Flooded roads, crumbling infrastructure paralyse city, pile on monsoon misery

Updated 07 Aug 2020

Email

Vehicles navigate a flooded Aiwan-i-Sadr Road in this picture by Shakil Adil, while (right) a traffic jam is seen in North Nazimabad in this photo by Fahim Siddiqi on Thursday.—White Star
Vehicles navigate a flooded Aiwan-i-Sadr Road in this picture by Shakil Adil, while (right) a traffic jam is seen in North Nazimabad in this photo by Fahim Siddiqi on Thursday.—White Star

KARACHI: One person was reported dead due to electrocution as the fresh spell of monsoon showers lashed Karachi on Thursday, with the weatherman saying that more wet weather was in store for Friday and Saturday.

After a stifling, humid day on Thursday, the heavens opened up in the afternoon to give some respite to the citizens of this city. However, relief was to be short-lived as roads were inundated, traffic jams ensued and electricity was cut off for considerable periods. According to K-Electric, power was shut off in Orangi Town, Sohrab Goth, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Liaquatabad and Baldia Town due to waterlogging.

The chief minister tasked members of his cabinet to oversee relief work across the province, while both the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) urged the authorities to “remain vigilant”.

At the time of our going to press late on Thursday, the Met department had recorded maximum rain in PAF Faisal Base (56mm) followed by Saddar (46mm), Gulistan-i-Jauhar (38.2mm), Pehalwan Goth (37.5mm), Surjani Town (19mm), PAF Masroor Base (14.5mm), Keamari (12.5mm), North Karachi (10.5mm), Nazimabad (10mm), Jinnah Terminal (9.8mm), Landhi (8.7mm) and Gulshan-i-Hadeed (7mm).

The maximum temperature recorded was 39.1 degrees Celsius with 89 per cent relative humidity. 

NDMA urges people to stay home during rainfall

The Met department forecast rain/thundershowers with few moderate to isolated heavy falls for Friday with maximum temperature ranging between 33 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius.

The department has advised fishermen to remain careful till the morning of Aug 9 as sea conditions are likely to get rough to very rough.

“A monsoon low pressure area persisting over Rajasthan is likely to merge with another developing low pressure [system] over Northeast Arabian Sea and yield strong incursion of monsoon currents into Sindh.

“Under its influence ... widespread rain/wind thunder showers with isolated heavy to very heavy falls are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad Thatta, Badin, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Jamshoro, Dadu and Shaheed Benazirabad from August 6 to August 8,” the department website said.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old man died in a rain-related incident on Thursday evening in the city while another was hurt, according to hospital officials.

Salahuddin died when he suffered an electric shock at Raheel Arcade in Gulistan-i-Jauhar. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to fulfil legal formalities. In another incident, a 30-year old man, Anwar, suffered head injuries when a billboard fell on him near Avari Hotel. He was shifted to the JPMC for treatment, where a doctor said his condition was out of danger.

Murad’s briefing

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday tasked provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants and MPAs to monitor and supervise relief activities in different districts till Aug 8 in the wake of weather advisory issued by PMD.

He said that Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah would be overall in charge of the relief work.

The chief minister directed his cabinet members to keep him apprised of the situation.

‘Remain vigilant’

The PMD in its advisory asked the authorities concerned to remain vigilant during the heavy downpour expected to generate urban flooding in Karachi and Hyderabad and flash flooding in hill torrents of Khuzdar on Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, the NDMA also asked the authorities concerned to take precautionary measures to avert loss of life and damage to property in Sindh and east Balochistan where flash floods were expected during next three days.

“The relevant authorities including Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs), districts administration and provincial irrigation department should remain fully alert and ensure pre-placement of road clearing machinery and necessary staff to deal with any emergency in an effective way,” it said.

‘Stay home’

“People should stay home and avoid unnecessary visits during heavy rains. Peoples must keep themselves away from electricity poles and other power infrastructures during rains to avoid any safety hazards. Fishermen in coastal areas of Sindh and Makran should not venture into the sea in view of the depression prevailing in the sea. Deep-sea fishing has to be completely avoided as the sea is predicted to be rough with high tides and high-speed winds.”

Meanwhile, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani in Karachi’s East district to take stock of measures regarding rains. The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner East Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, MD Water Board Khalid Sheikh, officers of DMC East, officers of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board and others.

As per a statement, the minister briefed the officers in detail regarding the low-lying areas and choking points and directed them to ensure the presence of pumps and staff for drainage on all major highways including Sharea Faisal. He directed the MD KWSB to appoint a focal person in all the districts of Karachi and to keep in constant touch with all the deputy commissioners, DMCs and the members of the committee on behalf of the Sindh CM.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2020