September 01 , 2017
16 die as rains wreak havoc in Karachi
KARACHI: As many as 16 people lost their lives and the civic life was paralyzed in Karachi following unprecedented rains which saw the army troops being deployed to assist the local administration on Thursday. The early morning heavy rains wreaked havoc in the megapolis, causing the worst type of urban flooding in years.
The rain which started on late Wednesday night continued till Thursday noon with short intervals prompting authorities to declare high alert, due to heavy rains forecast in Karachi till Friday. Thursday was the last working day before Eid-ul-Azha holidays but all the schools were closed on Thursday morning, after rainwater swamped major roads and arteries in the city, and majority of public and private offices remained closed as people could not reach their workplaces due to the absence of public and private transport.
North Karachi received the highest amount of rainfall, in the history of Karachi, in 24 hours as over 130 millimeters or 5.11 inches of rain was recorded in the area. The heavy rains collapsed sewerage system, causing drains to overflow flooding many residential and commercial areas.
To add to the miseries a breach in the carryover dam in Gadap Town submerged large swathes of Super Highway and National Highway suspending inter-city vehicular link. The widening breach threatened the nearby villages with inundation as worried residents moved to safer locations. Rangers’ personnel rescued motorists and drivers on the Super Highway after strong torrents of rainwater from a carryover dam in the Gadap Town washed away cars and other vehicles.
Army troops, Sindh Rangers and teams of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy were deployed in different areas of the city after City Mayor Waseem Akhtar and Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra sounded helplessness in rescuing citizens and draining out water. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said the Karachi administration requested the army for assistance and “the COAS directed all out assistance.”
Civic life paralyzed
Rain starting on late Wednesday night badly affected civic life and forced people to remain indoors after rainwater accumulated outside their homes, all major roads and low-lying areas were inundated with chest-high water.
The University road which was recently built at a cost of 1000 million rupees turned into a virtual canal as no drainage system was installed to drain water from the major thoroughfare. Meanwhile, all the underpasses of the city were closed for traffic after they were submerged with rainwater.
Hundreds of cars parked on roads, parking areas and in open areas especially in North Nazimabad, Shadman Town, New and North Karachi were flooded and could not be moved due to accumulation of four to five feet deep rainwater. Due to intense rain, sewerage system overflowed and water entered into the homes of people living near nullahs and in Katchi Abadis.
All major banks and financial institutions remained closed causing immense hardship to people as Thursday was the last working day before Eid-ul-Azha and people had to move from one bank branch to another for making transactions and draw money.
According to Met office, the monsoon system has now moved towards Balochistan and under its influence heavy rains are expected in Hub and other cities of Balochistan, which may result in flash floods and devastation in the low lying areas, in the next 24 to 48 hours.
They said Karachi received heaviest rainfall in the its history in a single day as around 130 millimeters of rain was recorded in North Karachi, followed by Masroor 125mm, Nazimabad 124mm, Saddar 64mm, MOS 44mm, Airport 42mm, University Road 52mm, Gulshan e Hadid 26mm, Faisal Base 23 mm and Landhi received 26 mm of rain. The Met deptt forecast chances of light rain on night between Thursday and Friday while cloudy and partly cloudy weather was predicted for Karachi on Friday and Saturday.
Many areas of Karachi were without power till filing of this report as over 250 feeders of K-Electric tripped, hundreds of wires broke and dozens of PMTs developed faults. The power supply utility also switched off power to several localities as a precautionary measure.
On the other hand, K-Electric Spokesman said the power situation was stable and under control and electricity was being supplied to most of the city areas without any interruption. In areas where faults were reported, teams were working and most of the people would have power on Thursday night, the spokesman added.
Aamir Majeed adds: At least 16 people including six minor boys and a girl lost their lives in 12 incidents of electrocution and four others of roof and wall collapse since Wednesday night.
One-year-old infant Farman died of electrocution at North Karachi Sector-VII. Eleven-year-old Shakeel died of electrocution at Nawa Lane Street No. 12 in Lyari. A 5-year-old boy was electrocuted in jurisdiction of Mominabad police station. Separately, an 11-year-old boy was electrocuted at his home at Gabol Goth. The rescue sources confirmed the victim's identity as Ahmar. A 10-year-old boy died when wall of under construction house at Neelum Colony collapsed. A 10-year-old boy Aslam son of Fida Hussain was electrocuted at Kamran Chowrangi in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Twenty-year-old Maryam was electrocuted at her home at Saeedabad. Twenty-four year-old Sohail son of Ghulam Sarwar was electrocuted at Nazimabad No. 1 near Peela School. Twenty-four -year-old Sajid son of Saeed was electrocuted at his Chishti Nagar home in Orangi Town.
A 22-year-old man was electrocuted at Brohi Mohalla Orangi Town Sector 12. Police identified Zahid Soomro as Nafees son of Raees. Yaseen son of Majeed, 22, died of electrocution at PIB Police Post near Old Sabzi Mandi. A 60-year-old man died of electrocution at Market 24, Saeedabad.
Saeedullah Jan ,22, died when wall of a dilapidated house collapsed in Gulshan-e-Behar, Orangi Town. Forty-year-old Dilawar died when a wall of his house collapsed at Orangi Town area of Fareed Colony. Twenty-five-year-old Nasir Khan son of Qadir Khan died and two others sustained injuries when roof of house collapsed in SITE Town area of Metrovill. Malook ,45, drowned in Nullah at Khuda ke Basti near Surjani Town.
Saleh Zaffir adds from Islamabad
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has directed all departments under the federal government to provide assistance and relief to the rain-hit people of Karachi on war-footing. The prime minister directed Pakistan Army, Rangers, National Highways Authority (NHA), Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Ports & Shipping establishment and other authorities to mobilise their resources to clear the roads and ensure uninterrupted communication and connectivity within the city as well as with other parts of the county.
According to the Prime Minister House, the Premier said the federal government would provide all possible assistance to the provincial government. The federal government is in constant contact with the provincial authorities regarding the situation, the sources added.
Earlier Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal spoke to the Rangers chief in Karachi to ascertain the situation and asked him to provide all possible assistance to the victims of the heavy rains in Karachi. The Prime Minister Abbasi is likely to assign an important federal minister to dash to Karachi to assess the situation.