Heavy rains continued for the second day in Karachi on Tuesday, wreaking more havoc on the metropolis, flooding roads and causing a landslide. At least four people, including three children, lost their lives in rain-related accidents.
The hours-long spell, which began before sunrise and continued till night, broke previous records of rainfall recorded in the city during August. The Met department said that Karachi had received 345mm of rainfall so far in August, breaking the previous record of 298mm reported in August 1984.
The department added that the trend was likely to continue for another two days, warning that another system, that was developing right now over the Bay of Bengal, could enter the province and cause heavy rainfall at the end of August or early September.
Meanwhile, the Sindh chief minister, in view of the incessant rainfall, declared a rain emergency in the province, instructing the chief secretary to issue the notification in this regard. The leaves of all government employees have been revoked and they have been directed to report to their respective departments immediately.
Speaking to media persons on a visit to Share Faisal on Tuesday evening, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that all low-lying areas in the city have been inundated. “I have declared an emergency in view of the prevailing situation,” said Shah. “We stand with the people in this time of difficulty.”
According to data from the Met department, the highest amount of rainfall, 72 millimetres, was recorded at Gulshan-i-Hadeed while Nazimabad recorded 51.6mm, North Karachi 37mm, Surjani Town 25.6mm, Landhi 11.5mm, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base Faisal 11mm, Jinnah Terminal 9.6mm while University Road received 8.8mm of rainfall.
Surjani Town and Orangi Town which had received heavy rainfall during the last spell were flooded once again as people started to evacuate from their homes while the Korangi causeway was also shut down due to flooding, DawnNewsTV reported.
Footage showed roads in Landhi and Federal B Area as well as other areas heavily inundated with water.
Four people, including three children, lost their lives in rain-related incidents during the day, according to Edhi rescuers and police.
A 13-year-old boy drowned in a pond created by accumulated rainwater in Musharraf Colony, according to an Edhi rescue team. The body was later retrieved and taken to Murshid Hospital.
Police officials said a 17-year-old boy died due to electric shock in the Haroonabad area. His body was shifted to the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.
Meanwhile, a 10-year-old boy was killed and his mother injured after a wall of their home collapsed during the rain. Police officials said the injured woman was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment while the body of the child was also shifted to the hospital.
Edhi officials added that another man died after being electrocuted near the main road close to DJ College. The body was shifted to Civil Hospital, they said.
Landslide damages cars in Gulistan-i-Jauhar
Meanwhile, heavy rains triggered a landslide in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, damaging several cars and motorcycles parked in the area.
"Police and rescue officials have reached the area," East Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sajid Amir Sadozai said, adding that no casualties from the landslide had been reported yet.
Electricity supply to certain areas suspended for safety reasons: KE
A spokesperson for the K-Electric (KE) said electricity supply to certain areas of the city had been temporarily suspended for safety reasons. "Power supply in some areas was immediately suspended after light rain last night and it has also been suspended in some areas where the water level is high for safety reasons," the spokesperson said.
"Water has entered the electricity installations in Gulshan, Gulistan-i-Jauhar and Bin Qasim whereas water has also entered homes in low-lying areas of the city and restoring the supply of electricity in flooded areas can be dangerous.
"K-Electric teams are in contact with the relevant organisations and teams are working [to restore power]," he added.
A day earlier, two people had died while four others were injured in the Sukhan area of the city after the awning of a gaming zone collapsed due to heavy rainfall at KMC flats near Bhains Colony, according to officials.
The Met office has predicted that the current spell of rain will continue until Wednesday (tomorrow), warning that there was a danger of urban flooding yet again.
"Rain/wind thundershowers, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls, are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu, Tharparker, Nagarparker, Mirpurkhas, Islam Kot, Umar Kot, Sanghar, Sukkur and Larkana from Monday to Wednesday," a weather advisory by the department had said.
"Heavy rainfall may generate urban flooding/water logging in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta and Badin from Monday to Tuesday. Heavy downpour may generate flash flooding in hill torrents of Kalat, Khuzdar and Lasbela during the period," it added.
PPP under fire
A day earlier, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar had lashed out at the PPP and said the people of the city were facing “criminal negligence” on part of the party for the last four years.
Addressing a press conference, Akhtar said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent the National Disaster Management Authority to Karachi but now he would request the PM to come himself.
Giving details of funds the KMC received for drains’ cleaning, the mayor said that he got only Rs500 million once and that too on the directives of the Supreme Court.
“Drains of Karachi cannot be cleaned until there is a proper garbage lifting system,” he said and added that Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah himself admitted that the KMC was not empowered.
The chief minister, meanwhile, headed out to observe the situation in Karachi, along with Sindh Information Minister Nasir Shah and adviser Murtaza Wahab.
While visiting Dr Ziaudding Ahmed Road, CM Shah noted that it was "flooded with rainwater". He directed authorities to install a dewatering system on the Aiwan-i-Sadr Road. Pipes have also been installed in sewerage tunnels near Muslim Gymkhana in order to drain water.