KARACHI, Aug 17: Life in Karachi came to a standstill following widespread flooding caused by the torrential rains that lashed the city on Thursday afternoon.
At least 13 people were electrocuted by live power cables dangling in flood waters.
Thousands of people were stranded in the flooding and the city witnessed nerve-breaking traffic jams on almost all roads in the 18 towns of the city.
All the utility services, including power, water and telecommunication, were badly affected by the rains and the relevant agencies could not fully restore the same till last reports came in.
The civic life came to a grinding halt as a heavy spell of thundershower lashed at the city at around 5pm and the rainwater flooded all roads and streets. There were chaotic conditions in the city as the performance of the civic agencies, including the city government, DHA and the cantonment boards was exposed by the latest spell of the rain that lasted only three hours.
At a number of places where knee- to waist-deep water had accumulated, a large number of vehicles broke down, creating further hindrance in the flow of vehicular traffic. Till our going to the press, hundreds of vehicles were still trapped in flood waters in almost every locality of the city.
Deep craters and potholes which were not visible posed a serious threat to thousands of commuters and pedestrians wading through the water on submerged roads.
Absence of streetlights on various major thoroughfares added to the miseries those who were still on their way back home after sunset.
Rainwater also made its way into houses in different localities, including many areas of the Defence Housing Authority, Bath Island and some other posh localities of Clifton. There were similar reports from PECHS Block 2, E Market area, Bahadurabad, Alamgir Road, Maqbool Cooperative Housing Society, Karachi Memon Cooperative Housing Society, etc, as the storm-water drains passing through those localities started overflowing.
Under-construction underpasses were submerged under 15-feet deep water and at some sections of Sharea Faisal, three to four feet deep water had accumulated.
Crowds of men and women were seen desperately looking for some transport means after leaving their workplaces and finding public transport off the road. Many of them were still wading through the inundated roads and footpath even at midnight. It was gathered that some of them were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to stay at their offices or at the residences of their relatives close to their offices.
Markets, bazaars and shopping malls presented a deserted look as the shopkeepers had to pull down shutters much before sunset. The employers and employees of the business and commercial concern had to rush to their homes due to the aggravating situation.
CASUALTIES: At least 13 people were electrocuted and another two sustained injuries in related incidents in the city on Thursday.
Edhi workers said that three persons were electrocuted near MCB Towers on I. I. Chundrigar Road. None of them could be identified immediately, they said, adding that the pedestrians reportedly came in contact with life electricity cables while wading through the flooded road. They quoted eyewitnesses as saying that electrocution was caused by an electric pole which had current running into the water around it. Edhi officials said that the people around did not try to recover the bodies fearing electrocution.
The incident created panic among the other people wading through the knee deep water. Occupants of many vehicles, abandoned after being broken down, were seen among them.