At least four people died in Karachi as the metropolis and other areas of Sindh witnessed heavy rainfall coupled with strong winds and thunderstorms on Saturday, increasing fears of urban flooding as the monsoon system across the country has intensified.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), heavy showers lashed DHA, Clifton, II Chundrigar Road, Ibrahim Hyderi, Korangi, Saddar, Sharae Faisal, Malir, and Stargate after 10am today. The monsoon rains flooded the Korangi nullah after which the EBM Causeway was closed for traffic.
Korangi Industrial Area Station House Officer (SHO) Akhlaq Ahmed said that Abdul Khaliq, 28, was the owner of a restaurant in Mehran Town. He suffered an electric shock and died when he tried to change a lightbulb inside the restaurant, the SHO said.
Police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said that a 30-year-old man, Abdul Ghaffar, was electrocuted in Baldia’s Swat Colony. She said another man, identified as Inayatullah, 22, was electrocuted in Sohrab Goth near Al Asif Square.
Sohrab Goth SHO Zubair Nawaz said that Inayatullah was a waiter at a restaurant. He was climbing a staircase when he slipped. The SHO said Inayatullah tried to stand up by touching a wall, where an electric board had current coursing through it, and suffered an electric shock, causing his death.
Meanwhile, an Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that a man, Tufail Khan, 32, died in landsliding in Baldia’s Abidabad area as a heavy stone hit him. The body was shifted to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.
Dr Syed said that he was crushed underneath a falling rock from a hill.
Urban flooding was reported in several localities of the city. In Lyari, streets were inundated with rainwater coming up to the waist stranding people inside their houses. In northern parts of the city, water entered houses creating immense difficulties for residents.
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab tweeted that the "major thrust" of the rain was in city's District South. He also said teams were on the roads "to handle the situation".
In a subsequent tweet, Wahab said water had gathered on II Chundrigar Road, "the side of Jang Press and on the other side of CPO and Tower, area around HBL is clear because the City Naala is running well".
Meanwhile, traffic jams were reported on PICT Gate Keamari, Causeway Nadi, Korangi Nadi, Safoora Chowrangi, Hassan Square, Sharae Faisal Drigh Road, and University Road due to water accumulation.
A report issued by the PMD said that the highest rainfall, in the last 24 hours, was recorded in Gulshan-e-Hadeed (94.7mm) followed by the Old Airport area (53.0mm), PAF Faisal Base (46.0mm), Jinnah Terminal Airport (38.6mm), Landhi (25.5mm), Gadap Town (13.6mm) and DHA Phase II (10.5mm).
A day ago, a Dawn report said that six people were killed in rain-related incidents in Karachi. The police said three people died after they were electrocuted, while several others got stuck in flooding in nullahs.
Sardar Sarfaraz, chief meteorologist, told Dawn that the rains were likely to persist in Karachi and other parts of Sindh as there was a strong monsoon system and its currents were penetrating from the Arabia Sea.
“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 millimeters 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,” he told Dawn.
Meanwhile, in a tweet on Saturday, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said that Sindh and Balochistan were going through very high levels of rainfall on a 30-year average.
Monsoon wreaks havoc in Balochistan
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) revealed today that monsoon rains in Balochistan, which started on June 1, have so far killed 57 people in the province and injured 48.
Heavy rains have damaged 670 houses in the province while 436 livestock have also been affected by the rains. The most-affected areas include Quetta district, Lasbela, Sibi, Harnai, Dakki, Kohlu, Barkhan, Zhob and Dera Bugti.
According to PDMA officials, rains affected 12 dams across the province, of which three burst due to flooding. In Loralai, six people were swept away by the dam water after which a rescue operation was initiated. Separately, the floods in Pishin and Turbat have entered populated areas, but fortunately, no casualties have been reported so far.
Meanwhile, multiple areas of Quetta have been without electricity for the past four days due to heavy rains. The residents complained that despite several calls, the authorities have failed to restore power.
Earlier today, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo directed the PDMA, district administrations and other concerned agencies to stay alert as the PMD have forecast more rain in the upcoming days.
All the agencies should be ready to deal with any kind of situation while remaining diligent and active, he directed, instructing departments to assure the availability of resources for the protection of life and property of residents.
The chief minister ordered the relocation of people living in low-lying areas to safer places and also requested locals to cooperate with the authorities on the occasion of monsoon and Eidul Azha.
More rain during Eid
Meanwhile, the Met Office has forecast more rains during Eidul Azha, which will be celebrated across Pakistan tomorrow (Sunday), and alerted authorities to exercise caution.
It said that the monsoon rains entering the country will intensify over the weekend (July 9 and 10). Under the influence, heavy rains with thunder and wind storm have been forecast in Islamabad, Kashmir, Swat, Mansehra, Kohat, Mianwali, Sargodha, Abbottabad, Haripur, Peshawar, Nowshera, Kurram, Jacobabad, Jhelum, Sialkot, Lahore, Murree, Rawalpindi, Attock, Okara, Sahiwal, Jhang, Chakwal, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Kohistan, Galiyat and Mardan.
The showers will last from July 9 to 12.
Rain and thunderstorms with isolated heavy showers have also been predicted in several areas of Sindh and Balochistan such as Mirpurkhas, Dadu, Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Zhob, Ziarat, Barkhan, Bolan, Loralai, Kohlu, Quetta, Kalat, Khuzdar, Lasbela, Awaran, Naseerabad, Sibbi, Panjgur, and Turbat.
The department further highlighted that the showers can cause urban and flash flooding in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Peshawar. Separately, rainfall may trigger landslides in Murree, Swat, Chilas, Diamer, Gilgit, Hunza, Astore and Skardu.
Travelers and tourists have been advised to remain extra cautious during the forecast period, it added.