KARACHI: A day of anxiety and panic in Karachi was over when the fear surrounding the chances of ‘heavy rains’, mostly over social media, faded away leaving only traces in the city on Thursday.

Due to the past bad experiences, the city remained on the edge throughout the day amid recent images and videos of the heaviest recorded rainfall in Dubai doing the rounds.

A senior Met official confirmed that the system which entered the south of the country on Wednesday had finally fizzled out after showering drizzle in Karachi and moderate rains to a few parts of rural Sindh.

The system, he said, could still affect Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Upper Punjab.

“The system has subsided and almost fizzled out from entire Sindh,” said Dr Sardar Sarfaraz, the Chief Meteorologist of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

The weather ‘system’ had caused heavy rains in Oman and UAE, says chief meteorologist

“It didn’t cause much rains in Karachi as different areas of the city only witnessed traces of downpour. It was the same system which caused heavy rains in Oman and UAE. With fast-changing and developing conditions, the Met office lately predicted that Karachi was expected to receive only light rain or showers.”

The maximum temperature recorded on Thursday was 31.2 degrees Celsius with 70 per cent humidity.

Although the weather remained mostly pleasant throughout the day, the humid conditions tested patience of the Karachiites as the ‘feel like’ temperature remained between 38 and 40 Celsius.

Despite frequent updates by the Met office, the city mostly relied on social media that mostly created a scare among residents.

The social media users were bombarded with ‘news’ of heavy showers coming to their way, which also kept the city administration on toes for the approaching challenge.

“In a number of Karachi schools, attendance was badly affected,” said the spokesman for the All Private Schools Management Association Sindh.

“Even late on Wednesday, we were contacted by several member schools who wanted to know about any announcement by the government of holiday as they were being approached or you can say forced by parents to announce a day off due to heavy rain forecast.”

As the city life largely remained unaffected with no significant rain, the city administration also claimed to have made all arrangement mainly for draining out rainwater from roads and low-lying areas.

“All major roads of Karachi’s were equipped with machinery on special directives of the Sindh CM, chief secretary and the mayor,” said the spokesman for the Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation.

“The machinery, including suction machines and de-watering pumps, was put on high alert at Metropole Hotel, CM House, Governor House, Muslim Gymkhana, Merewether Tower, Bilawal Chowrangi, Jinnah Airport, Arts Council Chowrangi, PC Hotel, and 26th Street. Suction machines were also on high alert at Jinnah Hospital, Nursery, Gora Qabristan, Baloch Colony, FTC Flyover, University Road, Shahrah-i-Quaideen and MA Jinnah Road.”

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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