KARACHI: Six people were killed in rain-related incidents in the city on Friday when the Pakistan Meteorological Department recorded up to 97.4 millimetres (close to four inches) of rains that piled misery on citizens and caused flooding in many areas due to terrible civic infrastructure in the city.
With fifth the successive day of raining when Karachi received heaviest of the monsoon rains of this season so far, the dilapidated city infrastructure which was already on the edge after four days of downpour exploded and caused flooding in many areas leaving almost every district submerged by rainwater, triggering power crisis, damaging sewerage system and hours-long traffic jam on all major roads.
The first spell of monsoon rains which originally began on Monday turned worst on its fifth day for Karachiites as the city which was under warning of urban flooding by the Met office amid heavy rain forecast met all the fears.
There was calm over the skies early in the morning and pleasant weather persisted throughout the day.
Two women among three die of electrocution
It was in the second half of the day when the city came under thick dark clouds and it started raining.
By 4pm the majority of Karachi areas were under “moderate to heavy” downpour and in some areas it was recorded “very heavy” rains.
“There is a strong monsoon system and its currents from the Arabian Sea are penetrating into Karachi and other parts of Sindh,” said Sardar Sarfraz of the Met office.
“Different Karachi areas, including the northern and eastern parts received moderate to heavy showers and some areas witnessed some very heavy falls. Gulshan-i-Hadeed for instance received the highest 94.7 millimetres of rainfall in a few hours of the spell. The trend is likely to continue tomorrow [Saturday] and may start weakening by Saturday night but it would be there.”
With Gilshan-i-Hadeed staying on top among other areas to receive the highest amount of rain on Friday, Met office showed the Old Airport area as the second to receive 54mm rain, followed by Faisal Base 46mm, Jinnah Terminal 38mm, University Road 27.6mm, Quaidabad 25.5mm, Nazimabad 19.2mm, Gadap 13.2mm, DHA 10.5mm, Saadi Town 8.9mm, Keamari and Masroor Base 8mm, Surjani 7mm, Gulshan-i-Maymar 6.6mm and North Karachi and Orangi Town received 5.3 and 5.1 mm of rains respectively.
Flooding in all districts
The rains which had badly disturbed the life in the Central district on Thursday turned to ever other district which came under serious flooding on Friday.
The key road link in east district including University Road, Rashid Minhas Road and Stadium Road faced hours-long traffic jam when parts of them became inundated after rains.
Heavy deployment of traffic officials and round-the-clock pumping of water by the city administration helped clear roads and move the vehicles at regular pace.
On the other hand, Sir Shah Muhammad Sulaiman Road leading from Hasan Square to Liaquatabad witnessed bumper to bumper traffic when hundreds of vehicles were lined up due to several rain-related blockades over the road after the downpour.
A University Road link between New Town and People’s Chowrangi was completely submerged with water flowing into homes on the main road.
Many areas in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Federal B Area, North Nazimabad, DHA, Clifton, Landhi, Korangi, Shah Faisal Colony, Orangi Town and PECHS faced urban flooding after rain as gutters and nullahs overflowed and caused accumulation of water on different roads.
The power crisis, as usual, resurfaced and many areas were deprived of the supply after first drop of rainfall. Due to heavy showers in the catchment area of Malir River, the stream overflowed on Friday and due to strong currents of the water in the river, the Korangi causeway was closed to traffic.
Korangi-SSP Faisal Bashir Memon in a statement said there was heavy flow of rainwater on Korangi Crossing Nadi and Korangi Causeway where police and rescue teams had set up temporary barriers to save lives who could be in danger due to heavy flow of water.
The SSP said since 11pm on Thursday, police had been deployed on different points as per rainfall plan to save citizens from difficulties.
The officer urged citizens to use alternative roads/routes and take care.
Edhi Foundation spokesperson said their rescue/divers team led by Saad Edhi saved two persons from drowning in Qayyumabad while two more people stuck up in rain-accumulated water on Korangi causeway were also safely rescued.
The spokesperson said that four persons were stuck up in flooding Malir Nadi near Murtaza Chowrangi who were rescued by the team.
A man stuck up in Lyari Expressway at Zia Colony was rescued in unconscious condition and taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.
Flooding was also reported near Superhighway where several vehicles were stuck in water and rescue teams saved women and children, said the Edhi Foundation spokesperson.
Deterioration of infrastructure was not the only loss as the downpour caused more casualty and at least four people lost their lives in rain-related incidents. Two boys were drowned due to heavy flooding in Sukhan nulla (drain) at Yar Mohammed Goth in Shah Latif Town, said Malir SSP Irfan Bahadur. He said the local people rescued one of them identified as Yadash, 15, while efforts were under way to recover other, Ali Jan, 12, who was believed to have drowned and died.
The Malir SSP said there was urban flooding in Gadap, Steel Town, Memon Goth, Shah Latif Town and Sukhan as Malir Nadi (river) passed through these areas. The officer said the people living at banks of the Malir River were being shifted to other areas to avoid loss of life.
In another incident, three men were drowned when the Lath dam spilled over and triggered flooding in Gadap City.
SSP Bahadur said that one of them saved his life as he knew swimming.
He said the body of one teenager had been recovered and efforts were under way to recover the other who also believed to have drowned.
Edhi Foundation spokesperson identified the deceased as Liaquat Husain, 19.
A woman was electrocuted within the remit of the Shah Latif police station.
Her body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center for an autopsy where she was identified as 38-year-old Ruqaya, wife of Mobin Shah. The police said the woman received an electric shock during work at her residence located in a Bhens Colony locality. Further investigation was under way.
Another woman, who was identified as Sawera, wife of Ghulam Mustafa, was electrocuted in Mawach Goth area of Baldia Town.
Her body was taken to the Civil Hospital, Karachi for a post-mortem. The police said the woman died of electrocution at her house. Further investigation was under way.
In Garden, the area police said that 20-year-old Abdul Rehman died as he got an electric shock at a milk shop near Azam Plaza. The body was shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2022