KARACHI: At least seven more people were killed, four of them electrocuted, in different parts of the city in rain-related incidents on Saturday, increasing the death toll to 17 in three days of the current spell of rains.
Of the 17 deaths, 11 people died from electrocution in the three days.
The city continued to receive moderate to heavy rain for the third consecutive day on Saturday while the Met department saw the current spell of monsoon downpour fizzling out by Sunday evening.
KE claims no electrocutions due to its infrastructure; Nasir Shah says flood situation not created anywhere
While key roads including University Road and parts of Sharea Faisal were flooded with rainwater despite much-trumpeted cleaning of storm-water drains, the electricity crisis that began on Thursday afternoon when the downpour started continued on Saturday in many city areas with people complaining about lack of electricity for more than 16 hours.
Deaths from electrocution
A six-year-old boy was electrocuted in North Karachi. Area SHO Salman Shah said that the boy touched a pedestal fan with bare foot and suffered an electric shock.
In Ittehad Town, 18-year-old Shada Pervez was electrocuted when he touched a wall of his home. The area SHO said that electric current penetrated the wall because of a live wire.
Amin Hasan, 45, died when he suffered an electric shock inside his home in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, according to a Chhipa spokesperson.
Mansab Munir, 30, died when he suffered an electric shock on the road while passing through Jodia Bazaar, said Edhi Foundation spokesperson. The body was shifted to the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK).
Meanwhile, in a statement issued here a K-Electric spokesperson claimed on Saturday that Friday’s seven electrocution incidents occurred due to “damaged non-KE wires, water motors and illegal use of kundas”.
The spokesperson insisted that no electrocutions happened due to KE’s infrastructure.
Two die in roof collapse
Two persons died in a roof collapse incident in Pak Colony.
Area SHO Rehmatullah Khan Marwat said that labourers Mohammad Anwar, 40, and Raza Mohammad, 45, were busy in repair of a house in Magsi Mohalla of Jehanabad when the roof collapsed and fell on them.
He said that the continued rain had damaged the house and the owner was trying to reinforce its structure when the tragedy occurred.
The bodies were shifted to the CHK for medico-legal formalities.
A 14-year-old boy drowned in the Malir river on Saturday afternoon. Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur said that the boy, identified as Asad, reportedly drowned while swimming in the river at Jam Goth.
Edhi divers continued to search for him till evening. It was feared that the boy might have died.
Meanwhile, rescuers said that the body of a six-year-old boy, who drowned in a storm-water drain in Banaras on Friday, was retrieved near Dhobi Ghat. He was identified as Shahzeb.
The rain on Saturday mainly started in the second half of the day in most parts of the city with thunder and strong winds. The moderate to heavy rain continued in different areas of the city intermittently leading to inundation of various roads and low-lying areas.
By Saturday evening, according to the Met office, the largest count was recorded in Surjani Town where 42 millimetres, or 1.65 inches, rainfall was recorded. In Gulshan-i-Hadeed and Saadi Town 36mm rain, PAF Masroor Base 32mm and Faisal Base 30mm, North Karachi 24.7mm, Nazimabad 6.8mm, University Road 15mm, Jinnah Terminal 15mm, Keamari 8.7mm and at Old Airport 26mm rain was recorded.
The fresh spell of rains, which started on Thursday evening, flooded the roads resulting in traffic jams and turned low-lying areas into swamps.
The intermittent rains have flooded large sections of University Road, Sharea Faisal, including the notorious Natha Khan portion, MA Jinnah Road and Shahrah-i-Pakistan besides several other roads, where hundreds of vehicles were stuck with vexed and irritated commuters inside.
No flood situation in city: info minister
However, Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah claimed the overall situation of the city was much better than the previous rains. Despite the intensity of rains, he said, no flood situation was created anywhere.
“During the continuous heavy rains in the city, we keep visiting different areas of the city and continued to give instructions to the local government officers and staff on various issues,” he said in a statement.
“Despite the heavy rains, the timely strategy and successful coordination policy of the Sindh government proved effective and led to better post-rain situation in the city compared to previous years,” he said.
“The condition of the city is better and different than before. I am in constant touch with the chairmen of all the DMCs and also gave orders to the water board chief to install dewatering machines at specific places. The staff of water board, DMCs, solid waste board have been permanently engaged in public services in all low-lying areas, choking points, sensitive places,” said Mr Shah, who is also the province’s local government minister.
He said that the places where water had accumulated temporarily were cleared before night and all areas including Sharea Faisal, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Abul Hassan Ispahani Road, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Rashid Minhas Road were cleared in time.
He also appealed to the people not to go out of their homes unnecessarily and stay away from electric poles and electrical appliances.
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2020