Death toll in rain-related incidents in Karachi on Saturday mounted to at least 13. The downpour fully exposed city’s poor civic infrastructure. Meanwhile, the MET Office has forecast more rains in the next 24 hours.
Accumulated rainwater and wet garbage heaps characterised city’s landscape in the wake of downpour that started on Friday evening. Power outages disturbed commercial activities and social life in the last 24 hours.
Newly-elected Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, paid visits to different parts of the city to oversee activities by civic officials during rains. He vowed to restore the city’s past image and provide relief to the citizens in days to come.
He also had tea at a stall in Saddar, showing disappointment over the city’s deteriorating civic outlook. He said that city’s poor condition was unimaginable for him and blamed the rundown drainage system for whole civic infrastructure breakdown.
According to the rescue and aid organisations, at least 13 people perished in rain-related incidents mainly due to electrocution and collapse of house walls since the first rainy spell across the city.
Citizens suffered the worst power cuts with breakdown of over 500 electricity feeders that also had plunged the metropolis into dark the other night.
“Trades faced at a least Rs 4 billion of loss since 90 percent markets could not resume trade due to downpour across the city,” Chairman All Karachi Tajir Ittehad, Atiq Mir told Business Recorder, saying that “garbage heaps, flooded roads and power cuts scaled down sales to a mere 10 percent”.
More rains and thundershowers with gusty winds and isolated heavy falls are likely to hit scattered places in Karachi, the MET office warned, forecasting that rains would also hit Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Thatta divisions over the period.
“A heat low lies over north Balochistan. Monsoon currents are penetrating in southern parts while good monsoon currents are also penetrating the upper parts of the country and likely to intensify during the next 24 hours, the MET said, adding that “a westerly wave is affecting north-eastern parts of Afghanistan and its adjoining areas”.
A 47mm (maximum) rainfall in Karachi was recorded at a number of places, including Landhi 47mm, Gulshan-e-Hadeed 45mm, Faisal Base (Pakistan Air Force) 40mm, MOS 36mm, Model Observatory 34mm, North Karachi 31.4mm, Masroor Base (Pakistan Air Force) 26mm and AWS (JIAP) Karachi 23.8mm in the last 24 hours.
Knee-deep rainwater was seen in several parts of the city including old city area, Korangi, Landhi, Mehmoodabad, Keamari, where residents also suffered a water overflow in their homes.
The inundated roads and streets adversely affected flows of vehicular traffic and pedestrians’ movements. Markets remained partially open since low vehicular traffic discouraged buyers from shopping.
“Some 500 out of 600 markets remained closed in different parts of the city,” Atiq Mir said, adding that “big markets like those in Saddar, Tariq Road, Landhi, Korangi, Liaquatabad, M. A. Jinnah Road and in parts of the old city could not carry out trade activities”. Rainwater accumulated in warehouses and shops in vulnerable and low lying areas, damaging millions of rupees of goods, he said.
Maximum rainfall in other districts of Sindh were as: Thatta 71.6mm, Badin 48mm, Islamkot 31mm, Shaheed Benazirabad 31mm, Sukkur and Paddidan 26mm, each, Nagarparkar and Dhaheli 25 mmeach, Dadu 18.0mm, Mithi 13mm, Diplo 9mm, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas 7mm each, Tandojam 6.6mm, Chachro 5mm, Chhore, Larkana, Jacobabad 2mm each, Moenjodaro 1mm, and traces of rainfall have been reported from Rohri.
In Balochistan: Sibbi received 49mm, Lasbela 11mm, Barkhan 10mm, Zhob 5mm. Punjab: Khanpur 29mm, Noorpurthal 23mm, Mangla 22mm, Kasur 17mm, Chakwal 15mm, Mandi Bahauddin 8mm, Kot Addu 7mm and Faisalabad 2mm. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Balakot 5mm. FATA: Parachinar 5mm and Gilgit-Baltistan: Gupis 2mm. Dalbandin was the hottest place with 44 degree Celsius, Turbat and Chillas 43 and Nokkundi 42, respectively, in the last 24 hours.
Weather in the next 48 hours: Rain-thunderstorm (with isolated heavy falls) is expected at a number of places in Upper Punjab (Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad and Sargodha Divisions), Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, and Kashmir, besides isolated in Lower Sindh, South Punjab (Multan, Bahawalpur and D.G Khan Divisions), Eastern Balochistan (Zhob, Kalat, Sibbi, and Nasirabad Divisions).