February 5, 2024
ISLAMABAD – Heavy rain lashed several parts of Karachi for the second consecutive day on Sunday.
Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, DHA, Clifton, II Chundrigar Road, Saddar, and Lyari were among the localities where moderate to heavy rainfall coupled with cold winds were reported.
According to the Karachi Traffic Police, rainwater had accumulated on University Road, Ziauddin Road, Haqqani Chowk, Denso Hall and Lighthouse.
It added that rainwater had also accumulated at Dow University, Tibet Chowk, Ankalsaria Chowk, Shershah Road, Guru Mandir, Jahangir Road, Ayesha Manzil, Five-Star Chowrangi, Hyderi, Shafiq Mor and Qayyumabad.
The cold weather, which had reduced to a great extent, made a sudden comeback in Karachi a day earlier when heavy showers soaked the metropolis. Subsequently, major arteries of the city were flooded.
In its forecast today, the Met Office said the current spell of rains was due to a westerly wave prevailing over Balochistan and Sindh.
It said rain and thunderstorms with light to moderate intensity were likely to occur in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Tharparkar and other areas of the province.
Speaking to Dawn.com, chief meteorologist Sardar Sarfraz said the current radar showed rain bands over the northern outskirts of the country. “This indicates intermittent rain/showers will continue till evening in Karachi,” he said.
Sarfraz added that scattered and light rain was predicted in other areas of the province as well.
According to data from the Met Office, Saadi Town received the highest amount of rainfall i.e. 17 millimeters on Sunday, followed by Nazimabad (12.8mm), Orangi Town (12.5mm), University Road (8.5mm), Surjani Town, (7.4mm), Gulshan-i-Hadeed (7mm), North Karachi (7mm), PAF Faisal Base (6mm), Jinnah Terminal (5.8mm) and Korangi (4.2mm).
2 killed, 5 injured in rain-related incidents
Two people were killed while five others, including two women, were injured in rain-related incidents in the metropolis since Saturday night, police and rescue officials said.
Site-B Police Station House Officer (SHO) Mohammed Masood said that a factory worker drowned when he fell in a nullah filled with rainwater in Baldia on Saturday night. The officer said that the victim had left the factory and was on his way home in Baldia Town when he slipped and fell down the nullah.
In another incident, a teenager was electrocuted in Lines Area late on Saturday night. A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation said 19-year-old Dilawar Ahsan died when he suffered an electric shock near a bakery in Jutt Line.
Further, five people were injured in separate incidents. Sharafi Goth police said that two women were injured when the roof of a house collapsed in Moinabad.
The Edhi Foundation spokesperson said that two men were wounded when the wall of the Pak-China Park collapsed on Kashmir Road.
Soldier Bazar police SHO Shahzad Ilyas said that a man was injured when the wall of a tandoor collapsed.
Mayor inspects city, Sindh CM expresses displeasure
Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab took to social media to say he was “out and about again” as the city witnessed rainfall.
“Issue of the drain coming from the side of tower and stock exchange is identified and attended to. Discharge into the creek was choked which has now been cleared,” he said.
He also visited Lyari, saying, “Main roads are clear, internal streets are being worked upon.”
Later, he appreciated the efforts of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) and the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) for their “tireless efforts over the last 20 hours”.
“Please keep up the hard work and don’t be bogged down by naysayers. I am proud of each and everyone of you. We stand committed to serving Karachi and our people,” he said.
Separately, caretaker Sindh Chief Minister retired Justice Maqbool Baqar decided to issue letters of displeasure to the deputy inspector general of police and the director general of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) for not responding in time during the rainfall.
The interim CM put all civic agencies/local bodies, PDMA, traffic police, and water board on high alert to deal with the rain situation. He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting at the CM House which was attended by interim Sindh information minister Ahmad Shah, the Karachi mayor, Sindh Inspector General Riffat Mukhtar, Commissioner Karachi Saleem Rajput and KWSC CEO Syed Salahuddin.
Briefing the chief minister, the Karachi mayor said that a cloudburst in the city had inundated the main arteries.
He said that he and the KWSC ceo had visited various stormwater drains, which were partially chocked with plastic shopper bags. He said that the drains were cleared and machinery was installed to pump out stagnant water from low-lying areas.
The Sindh CM also took notice of the absence of the DIG traffic as all main arteries were blocked, adding that traffic police had failed to manage the traffic in time due to which the people had to suffer. Baqar directed the Sindh police chief to issue a letter to the official to convey his displeasure.
“I am not happy with traffic management in the city, particularly on Saturday evening,” the chief minister remarked.
Wahab told the interim CM that all the main arteries of the city were clear and traffic was moving smoothly. However, he said, dewatering work was in progress in some areas and the drainage system was being improved by clearing the gutters or garbage.
During the meeting, it was observed that the PDMA had failed to respond accordingly due to which water could not be drained out from low-lying areas in time. The interim CM said that the authority’s director general should have been present on the roads to help local bodies.
He instructed his secretariat to issue a letter of displeasure to the official, directing him to ensure the provision of functional machinery to local bodies.
In the meeting, it was also noticed that most of the town chairmen failed to serve their areas during the rain emergency. The CM termed this unacceptable and said that all the elected local bodies chairmen and councillors must serve the people of their areas in close coordination with other agencies.