12 dead as rain swamps Karachi


Commuters drive through rainwater after a heavy downpour in the Saddar area of Karachi on Saturday. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN

Commuters drive through rainwater after a heavy downpour in the Saddar area of Karachi on Saturday. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN

QUETTA / HYDERABAD / KARACHI: At least 12 people died on Saturday as blustery intermittent monsoon rain pounded Karachi, exposing its vulnerable drainage and road infrastructure and triggering traffic logjams in several arteries. Residents in most neighbourhoods of the metropolis spent hours without electricity following the downpour.

In Balochistan’s Harnai district, five people were swept away and another seven went missing when rain-induced hill torrents hit a picnic spot. Eight people were rescued from the strong current of water.

More than a dozen mud-houses collapsed after heavy rainfall in Naseerabad district. The showers continued for five hours, flooding low-lying areas and filling the Right Bank Outfall Drain to capacity.

Karachi suffers

In the metropolitan city, the excitement of rainfall on a weekend was dampened by power breakdowns and flooded streets. Among the worst affected areas were Empress Market, Jumma Gali and the streets in front of the Governor and Chief Minister Houses. Drigh Road, Karsaz, Shafiq Morr, Baloch Colony, Nipa, University Road, Nagan Chowrangi and Buffer Zone were flooded till late as the rain exposed the inefficiency of civic authorities.

Almost all the underpasses were submerged and were closed for traffic.

Like most Karachiites, CM enjoys rain with tea and paratha

KMC’s senior municipal director Masood Alam said the rainwater could not be drained out and started accumulating inside the underpasses. The fault, he assured, would be removed by the next spell of rain.  “We have installed dewatering pumps at 13 spots in the city so that no water stays on the roads,” he told The Express Tribune.

Fatalities

As always, the downpour proved fatal for some Karachiites with at least a dozen fatalities reported mostly from electrocution.

The first death was reported about 2am from Bakra Piri, Malir where a 17-year-old boy, named Salman, died after suffering an electric shock. Similarly, 12-year-old Sana died in Gulshan-e-Maymar; 18-year-old Faisal was electrocuted in Korangi; 22-year-old Jalal died in FB Area; 25-year-old Abbas passed away in Gulistan-e-Jauhar; 25-year-old Inayat died in Hussainabad; 40-year-old Haider Ali died in Orangi Town while two people whose identities could not be determined were electrocuted in Nayabad and New Karachi.

Darakhshan SHO Amjad Anwar said a 17-year-old boy, named Osama, died after he fell from the third floor of a building on Khayaban-e-Ittehad.

Two incidents of roof and wall collapses were also reported from Baldia Town and North Karachi. According to the Edhi Foundation, a 32-year-old woman, identified as Javeria, died in Qaimkhani Colony of Baldia Town after a portion of her house’s roof caved in. An elderly man, identified as Hamd Ali, died in a similar incident in North Karachi.

Lights out

As always, the rain also brought frequent power outages with it. “There was no electricity for a stretch of six hours,” complained DHA Phase V resident Haider Khan.

Due to a power breakdown at Gharo and Dhabeji pumping stations, water supply was halted for around 20 hours a day earlier, claimed Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s (KWSB) engineer Sikander Ali Zardari.

Once electricity resumes, it takes at least 48 hours to restore proper water supply to Karachi. The city is already facing a shortage of 600 million gallons per day.

Power utility K-Electric insisted its teams were on duty for maintenance. K-E marketing and communications officer Fakhar Ahmed said all faults were in extra-high tension lines and the feeder at Dhabeji pumping station and other strategic installations had been repaired.

Amount of rainfall

The Pakistan Meteorological Department recorded the highest amount of rainfall (55 millimetres) in Karachi on Shahrae Faisal. Landhi received 47mm of rainfall, Gulshan-e-Hadid 45mm, Gulistan-e-Jauhar 34mm, North Karachi 30mm, Saddar 30mm and Masroor base 26mm.

Like most Karachiites, CM enjoys rain with tea and paratha

Many other districts in Sindh also received showers with 48mm rainfall recorded in Thatta and Badin, 26mm in Sukkur, 18mm in Dadu, 9mm in Benazirabad, 8mm in Mithi, 7mm in Mirpurkhas and 2mm in Jacobabad and Larkana.

Hyderabad received the heaviest cloudburst with the regional met office recording 112mm (mm) in two hours in the afternoon. The deluge submerged roads and streets in low-lying areas in up to three feet of water.


Original news : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1157297/12-dead-rain-swamps-karachi/