KARACHI: Daily life in Karachi remained at a standstill on Tuesday as the rain continued to soak many areas, including major parts of the city, besides contributing to prolonged power outages, some more than 24 hours long.
The Sadoo and Lath dams overflowed after two days of rainfall and water entered different areas of Manghopir, Saadi Town and Superhighway. Traffic jams were also seen in almost every commercial area, creating chaos on the roads.
Although the Pakistan Army was called in to assist with the rescue operation in the affected areas and K-Electric claimed that electric supply has been restored to most parts of the city, the country’s port city continued to remain in a lull due to rain water-induced urban woes.
Moreover, at least 17 people have died within two days in different rain-related incidents while 7 others died in various parts of Sindh due to the rain caused mishaps.
According to reports, many of these people were electrocuted in separate incidents. The victims include two minors, one teenager and a 40-year-old man. Two of the deceased were from Malir, with the other two from Gulistan-e-Johar and Paposh Nagar while a 30-year-old man was electrocuted in the Boat Basin area.
A nine-year-old girl died in the Akhtar Colony area while she was playing in the water outside her house near an electric pole, while a 30-year-old man died of electric shock in the Defence area.
In Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s 13-D, a 22-year-old, Kamran, died when he touched an electric pole outside his home in Block 2
Edhi lifeguards rescued three children who had fallen into the Lyari river at Teen Hatti.
A weather advisory issued by the Pakistan Meteorological Department on July 25 had stated that widespread rains and wind-thunderstorms were expected from Sunday to Tuesday in Mirpurkhas, Thatta, Hyderabad, Karachi, Shaheed Benazirabad, Kalat and Makran divisions.
In Sukkur, Larkana, Zhob, Sibbi and Naseerabad divisions, scattered rains and wind-thunderstorms with isolated moderate to heavy rainfall were expected.
Additionally, isolated heavy rainfall was expected in lower Sindh (Mirpurkhas, Thatta, Hyderabad, Karachi divisions) and Kalat and Makran divisions on Monday and Tuesday.
“Heavy falls may generate urban flooding in Karachi, Thatta and Hyderabad divisions on Monday and Tuesday, while flash flooding [may occur] in Kalat, Sibbi, Zhob divisions during the period,” the advisory had added.
Inspector-General of Police Sindh Syed Kaleem Imam directed officials to stay vigilant and ensure that citizens are safely rescued in case of emergencies. He also instructed the police force to oversee relief efforts.
Meanwhile, Sindh Secretary for Education Qazi Shahid Pervez issued a notification, announcing that government and private schools across the province will remain closed on Tuesday.
District officials have also been instructed to ensure that water is drained from school buildings.
Earlier on Monday, At least eight people, including an 11-year-old girl, lost their lives due to electrocution as heavy rain lashed Karachi and other parts of Sindh.
A heavy downpour caused flooding in various parts of Hyderabad including Latifabad and Qasimabad. Rainwater accumulated in all low-lying areas and on main arteries of the city.
The rain that had started at 3am on Monday continued intermittently till Tuesday. Attendance at offices was low and traffic disappeared from roads while the Shahbaz Building, known as the local Sindh government secretariat, remained submerged.
Hyderabad also experienced a widespread power breakdown. The main pumping stations of the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) remained shut or ran on generators.
Following the power breakdown, Hyderabad division Commissioner Abbas Baloch spoke to the Hesco chief and others in order to restore the electricity supply.
Baloch said that the Hesco chief was asked to ensure power supply to the feeders that supply power to Wasa’s pumping stations, adding that the Hesco official had assured that this would be done.
The abandoned Wadhu Wah (canal) received sewage from Qasimabad and was overflowing since the morning. A passage was being created in order to release the water to a nearby ground. Flooding was also reported in Latifabad, City Cloth Market area, Liaquat Colony, Fatima Jinnah Road, Station Road, Hyder Chowk, Railway Station area, parts of Qasimabad, Tulsi Das Road, Hali Road, Qadamgah Moula Ali and Sarfraz Colony.