HYDERABAD: More than a 100 mud-thatched houses caved in on their inmates during the second day of torrential rain in different parts of the province on Thursday, with 20 people suffering injuries in roof-collapse incidents in Larkana alone, while continuous rainfall caused flooding in hundreds of villages and low-lying localities in cities and towns across the province.
Unabated rain brought civic life to a halt in Hyderabad which remained entirely shut in the wake of government’s announcement of holiday. Luckily, no casualty was reported from any part of the district though there were reports of collapse of houses’ walls in Pucca Qilla.
According to Hyderabad deputy commissioner, 204.75mm of rainfall has been recorded in last 60 hours since Aug 16 till Thursday 12 noon.
Met office said that 17mm of rain was recorded at airport office and 24mm at city office from 8am to 8pm on Aug 18.
On Thursday, downpour continued intermittently, leading to accumulation of rainwater on main arteries and low-lying areas. Hyderabad railway station was the worst affected area as it remained inaccessible to pedestrians as well as motorists. Some donkey carts were seen ferrying train passengers to and from the railway station.
Streets in Latifabad unit-2 and 11, Qadam Gah Maula Ali road, City Cloth market road, Fakir ka Pir, Pinjra Pole area, Hali road, American Quarters, Qazi Qayoom road, Gharib Nawaz Colony and areas in Qasimabad including Anwar Villas, Faraz Villas, Qasim Nagar, Sheedi Goth area, Citizen Colony, Gulistan-i-Sajjad, London Town, Prince Town, Bhitai Town and Sehrish Nagar were submerged in rainwater.
Over 80 houses collapse
More than 80 mud-thatched houses collapsed in Dadu city and Kachho region during intermittent heavy rain in Dadu, Johi, Khairpur Nathan Shah and Mehar towns.
After continuous rain for last 20 hours, business areas and roads were submerged in three feet water and rainwater entered houses, mosques and schools in low-lying neighborhoods. As many as 24 houses collapsed in the city.
The unabated rain in Khirthar ranges cut off land link of 300 more villages in Kachho from Johi town and caused 50 mud-thatched houses to collapse.
10 villages flooded
The Main Nara Valley Drain developed breaches at Pir Mashaikh and other parts, inundating 10 villages while heavy rain continued to batter Jamshoro, Kotri, Nooriabad, Sann, Manjhand, Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad towns.
Indus Highway came under water at Sann, Laky Shah Saddar and Jamshoro towns after hill torrents flowed over the highway during the heavy rain.
Rainwater entered houses in Bhan Syedabad town and caused several mud-thatched houses to cave in. The town residents complained that no government official had arrived to help them.
Heavy rain paralysed life in Shaheed Benazirabad division, Sanghar, Tando Adam, Shahdadpur, Sinjhoro and Khipro areas as the rainwater disrupted entire drainage system and entered houses and shops. Dozens of mud-thatched houses collapsed in Sanghar during rain.
The drainage of the stagnant rainwater was increasingly becoming difficult with rise in canals’ level.
Sangahr Deputy Commissioner Imran Al Hasan Khawaja said that nine people had died in the district and PDMA had given the heirs a total of rupees one million. The remaining heirs would also receive compensation, he said.
It rained heavily in Nawabshah and Naushahro Feroze districts and their towns of Bandhi, Daulatpur, Kazi Ahmed, Sakrand, Moro, Kandiaro and Mehrabpur where all roads were inundated and rainwater entered houses in low-lying localities.
In Mirpurkhas, two days of continuous heavy rainfall caused flooding in the district as the city, all the towns and villages had come under one to two feet rainwater.
The district administration had announced opening relief centres for the rain-hit people who had taken shelter in nearby government buildings, makeshift huts and other safe places but it had not yet done anything to
that effect. Hundreds of families had shifted to safe places after rainwater entered their houses.
Civil society and religious and social organisations condemned Mirpurkhas municipal committee for inefficiency and said that despite having huge budget and resources at its disposal it had failed to drain out rainwater from the city.
They deplored that even graveyards, playgrounds and parks had submerged in rainwater as the district administration had not taken any step to drain out the stagnant rainwater.
They lamented that dozens of houses were damaged in the city while hundreds of houses collapsed in villages near the town.
Mirwah Gorchani, Digri, Jhuddo, Tando Jan Mohammad, Naokot, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, Khaan, Phuladyoon, Hingorno, Sindhri, Hussain Bux Marri, Jhilori and Jhurbi towns also received rain and
several villages were flooded forcing a large population to shift to safe places along main roads, highways and in nearby government buildings.
The affected villagers demanded the chief minister immediately start relief work and set up relief camps to save the rain-hit people from hunger and diseases.
Farmers Khalid Arain, Mohammad Ali Bhurgari, Maqsood Rajput and others said that the heavy rainfall had created flood-like conditions in all seven talukas of the district.
They blamed influential landlords for having established illegal dykes in the riverbed to save their farmland and villages by diverting water flow towards villages of poor people.
They demanded Hesco reduce loadshedding hours and provide power to the city and towns so that pumping machines could drain out stagnant rainwater from low-lying areas, roads and streets.
They urged high authorities to provide food and shelter to the rain-hit people and declare Mirpurkhas district as calamity-hit area.
In Badin, continuous rain for the last two weeks caused widespread damage to rice fields and washed away paddy saplings after surface drains failed to drain out water from the fields. Crops of cotton, tomatoes and vegetables were also destroyed in the rain.
In Umerkot district, continuous downpour for 36 hours has inundated Umerkot city, Samaro, Kunri and Pithoro and washed away standing crops of cotton and chili.
Scores of mud-thatched houses collapsed in the town and roof of a house caved in on inmates in Noor Khan Dhonkai village, wounding Ranjho Dhonkai, who was taken to Hyderabad in critical condition.
No relief activities have been initiated by the government and encroachments have not been removed from rain drains, which create obstructions to dewatering operation carried by growers on their own.
Scores of families along with their livestock have taken shelter on sand dunes.
20 hurt in roof-collapse incidents
Twenty people were injured when their mud-thatched houses had caved in on them and three buffaloes died after roof of the pen fell on them during heavy downpour in Larkana and Qambar-Shahdadkot districts.
Two days of heavy rain has flooded all trade centres, roads and localities in low-lying areas in Larkana and its adjoining areas. Local Met office recorded 115 mm of rain over the past 24 hours.
Over a dozen people were injured after their houses caved in on them in different localities. In Luhar Colony, a house caved in and neighbours retrieved five members of the family from under the debris. They were identified as Ali, 5, Baby, 4, Fatima, 3, Sikandar Jatoi, Shahid Jatoi and his wife who were admitted to Chandka Medical College Hospital.
In Jiles bazaar, Janat Khatoon, Imran and Ali Magsi were injured when the roof of their house fell on them. In Nazar locality 10 mud-thatched houses caved in and over 100 houses in and around the locality were marooned in rainwater.
It has been raining heavily but intermittently for last 24 hours in Sukkur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kandhkot-Kashmore and surrounding areas, inundating streets and roads. In many areas, signboards and trees fell on electricity wires and roads.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2022