Seven die from electrocution as rain continues to lash Karachi

08 Aug 2020

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A MOTORCYCLIST in Korangi wades through knee-deep rainwater while (right) one track of the arterial Sharea Faisal is jammed at a choke point on Friday.—Shakil Adil/White Star
A MOTORCYCLIST in Korangi wades through knee-deep rainwater while (right) one track of the arterial Sharea Faisal is jammed at a choke point on Friday.—Shakil Adil/White Star

KARACHI: At least nine people were killed, seven of them electrocuted, in the city where downpour on Friday continued to play havoc with Karachi’s ill-maintained civic infrastructure as accumulation of rainwater caused a traffic mess on major arteries coupled with hours-long power breakdowns.

According to the Met department, the fourth spell of monsoon rains is expected to continue on Saturday (today).

Several flights were also cancelled and those which were due to land in the metropolis were diverted to other cities due to bad weather.

By Friday evening, the maximum rainfall recorded was 68.5 millimetres, or 2.69 inches, at PAF Masroor Base, Gulshan-i-Hadeed 60mm, Saddar 50mm, Keamari 49.8mm, 47mm at Faisal Base, 44.6mm in Nazimabad, 37.5mm in Landhi, 35mm in Surjani Town, Old Airport 30mm, University Road and Gulistan-i-Jauhar 35.5mm and 19mm while 23.9mm was recorded in North Karachi.

Seven die from electrocution

A 24-year-old woman was electrocuted in Baloch Colony.

Area SHO Ihsan Channa said Farzana Hanif died when she suffered an electric shock inside her home in Junejo Town. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.

Two boys drown; wet weather to last till Sunday; city faces traffic mess, flight disruption, power outages

Kaiser Nawaz, 18, died of an electric shock at a shop in Landhi No 4, said an Edhi Foundation spokesperson.

In Lyari, a 30-year-old man died of an electric shock on a street near Jangian Hotel in Chakiwara, said a Chippa spokesperson. The body was shifted to the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.

Eight-year-old Anas Shakeel died when he suffered an electric shock as he touched an electric pole near City Courts. The body was shifted to CHK.

Jawad Zubair, 20, died of electrocution when he stepped in rainwater accumulated near the Burnes Centre of CHK.

A man, Mohammed Bilal, 27, died of electric shock in Model Colony when he reportedly touched an electric pole. The body was brought to the JPMC.

A young man, Mansoor, died of electric shock in Gulshan-I-Iqbal’s 13-D, according to rescue services.

Two drown

A 12-year-old boy drowned in a pond filled with rainwater in Surjani Town.

The police said some boys were swimming in the pond in Sector 7-D when Talha Tanzeem, 12, drowned.

In another incident, a six-year-old boy was feared drowned in a drain in the Banaras area of Orangi Town, the Edhi Foundation and Pirabad police said.

SSP-West Fida Husain Janwari said that they got information about drowning of the boy in a storm-water drain.

Edhi Foundation spokesperson said late at night that their divers stopped rescue operation due to darkness at Banaras and it was believed that the boy had died.

Prolonged power cuts continue

Amid other challenges, Friday’s rain again brought painful experience for Karachiites who suffered hours-long power outages due to failure of the K-Electric in maintaining uninterrupted supply of electricity.

The power breakdowns, which started on Thursday afternoon when the downpour first started, continued on Friday as large city areas remained deprived of power by KE.

People from a number of areas including Malir, Landhi, Korangi, Federal B. Area, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Saadi Town, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, North Karachi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Manghopir and Orangi Town reported hours-long power outages in their neighbourhoods.

Residents of DHA Phases 4, 5, 6 and 7 told Dawn they had no power since late Thursday night. Residents in Phase 4 have had no power since 19 hours. KE’s customer service representatives told them these areas are under “safety shutdowns”.

A resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar said the electricity went off as the rain started on Thursday evening. “Although we received power for a few hours in the middle of the night, it was fully restored after more than 24 hours”, he said.

“KE officials told us the main reason for the prolonged outage was a change of feeder to Pehlwan Goth. Bisma Residency’s regular feeder has been undergoing an ‘overhaul’ since July 26, they said,” he added.

A resident of Korangi’s Allahwala Town told Dawn that power went off at 4pm on Friday in his locality and was yet to be restored when this story was filed late Friday night.

Rain system to end tomorrow

The cloudburst came in the second half of the day in most parts of the city where the rains came with lightning, thunder and strong winds.

The moderate to heavy rain continued in different areas of the city leading to inundation of various roads and low-lying areas.

The weatherman says the trend will continue on Saturday with the system starting to weaken in the evening.

“Actually, there’re two monsoon systems, which have led to almost non-stop rain after 2pm in different parts of the city and other parts of southern Sindh,” said a Met official. “We see the current system continuing on Saturday. From Saturday evening it would start weakening and fizzle out by Sunday afternoon or a little later.”

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020