At least two children died and three got injured as Karachi received its first spell of pre-monsoon rain on Wednesday, with many areas witnessing thunderstorms with gusty winds.
Jamshed Town Superintendent of Police (SP) Saddam Husain said a group of children were playing on a street in Mehmoodabad's Ashraf Colony when a wall, whose structure was apparently weakened due to rain, fell on four children.
SP Husain said the injured were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where two of them were pronounced dead. The deceased were identified as Dileep Kumar and Piyosh Shambo.
Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said Kumar's autopsy revealed he died of injuries caused by concrete that fell on him. She added that Shambo's relatives took custody of the body without allowing the doctors to fulfil legal formalities.
She said a third child was severely injured when a roof of a house near Gulistan-i-Jauhar's Kamran Chowrangi collapsed.
Releasing a breakdown of the rainfall received, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said the highest rain was received by Nazimabad with 38 millimetres. It was followed by Jinnah Terminal (22mm), Airport Old Area (15mm), PAF Base Faisal (8mm), Quaidabad (6mm), University Road (5.8mm), Gulshan-i-Maymar (4.4mm), Saadi Town (2.7mm), Orangi Town (2mm), PAF Base Masroor (2mm) and Surjani Town (1.7mm).
Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said officers of all local bodies had been ordered to monitor the situation on roads and ensure that drainage operations were carried out wherever there was a possibility of accumulation of water.
"All the machinery and staff are at work and conditions are good. I am supervising all the work myself and will go on a tour of the city," he said.
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab inspected conditions after the rain and monitored clearance and drainage operations.
Sindh Health Department's media coordinator Mehar Khursheed said a rain emergency was not declared since Karachi was forecasted to have normal or below-normal rain.
She said the director general of health was ensuring the availability of doctors in Karachi and Hyderabad division's hospitals.
Meanwhile, K-Electric spokesperson Imran Rana said that around 1,720 of the city's over 1,900 power feeders continued to supply electricity to most areas. He said power was being restored as soon as clearance to do so was received at a local level.
The PMD had previously predicted countrywide torrential rains from Monday due to a strong weather system entering the upper and central parts of the country. It had added that the weather system would persist till Wednesday night with downpours expected in Karachi from Tuesday evening till Wednesday.
However, the PMD's weather forecast issued today did not mention any rain in Karachi and instead, predicted "hot and humid" weather at a maximum of 35 to 37 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 29.5°C.
According to a statement from the spokesperson for the Karachi police, instructions were issued for the police force by Additional IG Javed Alam Odho after the forecast of rain.
He directed all field commanders to be present in their areas during rains, also instructing traffic police officials to perform their duties in their designated areas. The statement added that the Special Security Unit also instructed the rain emergency unit to be ready to deal with any possible urban flooding and assist the public at all times.
Patrol vehicles were also ordered to be equipped with the necessary tools and equipment to move stranded vehicles.
With the monsoon season just around the corner, Wahab said on Saturday that the cleaning and de-silting of 41 major storm drains in Karachi had been almost completed.
While visiting Jubilee Nullah, Garden Nullah, Soldier Bazaar Nullah and Regal Saddar Nullah, he had said that work on major drains was in full swing.