At least 12 people have been killed so far, mostly from electrocution, in Karachi as monsoon rains continued to lash the city on Thursday, Edhi officials told DawnNews.
In one incident, an eight-year-old child was killed when a building belonging to the Intelligence Bureau collapsed in Clifton area in the aftermath of heavy rain, Karachi South DIG Azad Khan confirmed.
After the incident, the minor’s body was shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali confirmed the death of the child. Officials are still engaged in removing the debris from the collapse, the DIG added.
The Karachi administration has requested that the Pakistan Army assist them in managing the effects of torrential rains in the city, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
According to the ISPR, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s has instructed the army to extend full support to the city administration.
The army has provided water extraction pumps to the city administration, the ISPR said.
Earlier in the day, commuters faced difficulties reaching offices while majority of schools remained closed as the rain, which started late Wednesday night, flooded roads of the metropolis.
On the other hand, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah — who is currently in Makkah for Hajj — called Sindh Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro and Transport Minister Nasir Shah to express concern about the situation in the province.
Shoro and Nasir Shah briefed CM Murad Ali Shah after they had inspected various areas of the city to assess the situation.
While talking to Health Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro via telephone, the Sindh chief minister directed that the emergency departments at all government should hospitals remain stocked and the availability of doctors at all government health facilities is ensured throughout the province.
The chief minister also directed the Sindh chief secretary to ensure that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority is helping citizens as rain lashes throughout the province.
Many areas in the city — including North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Orangi, Malir, Drigh Road, and NIPA — are submerged because of the heavy rains while some bridges have turned into virtual swimming pools. Most rain in the city has been recorded in North Karachi at 97 millimeters, DawnNews reported.
Gujjar Nala area, where the city government launched an operation to remove illegal construction last year, is also submerged in water, according to DawnNews.
Meanwhile, two people including a young girl were killed in rain-related incidents in Sindh’s Jamshoro and Kashmore districts.
A young girl identified as Aqsa was electrocuted in her house in Kashmore town, while a 22-year-old man, Hajan Ali, drowned in rainwater near Thano Bola Khan town of Jamshoro district.
Torrential monsoon rains lashing Karachi since Wednesday evening are expected to continue for three days in various parts of Sindh, according to the Met Department.
Earlier on Monday, Mayor Wasim Akhtar had directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s staff to remain alert and ready with all required equipment and machinery to tackle heavy rains.
He had announced that in case of any emergency, people could call the KMC’s rain emergency centres on these numbers: 0332-2685090, 0335-7553976 and 1339 .
According to K-Electric (KE), 80 out of 1,600 feeders were affected up until noon. “Some feeders have been switched off in view of safety concerns in areas with waterlogging, and restoration work will be expedited in affected areas as soon as standing water is wiped out,” said Sadia Dada, KE’s director marketing and communication.
Customers can register queries/complaints on 118 or 99000, and through KE’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Windstorms and rains are expected to lash scattered places in Sindh (Sukkur, Larkana and Shaheed Benazir-abad, etc) and Punjab (Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, etc), besides parts of Balochistan and upper parts of the country — Hazara, Peshawar, Malakand and Sargodha divisions, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.
Following days-long downpours in neighboring India that especially caused havoc in Mumbai, a well-marked low pressure system in the neighbouring country sent out very strong moisture currents which generated widespread rain in lower Sindh, scattered areas of Punjab and upper parts of the country on Wednesday.
The Sindh government had issued a weather warning on Tuesday, anticipating heavy rains, in which it directed all district disaster management authorities, commissioners and deputy commissioners to ensure that all precautionary measures are taken to avoid any untoward situation as well adopt an effective response mechanism, including issuing an early warning for flash floods.
The direction, through a “most urgent” letter, was issued in connection with a weather warning issued by the Met Department