Thursday, August 31, 2017
Web Desk

At least 13 dead as rain batters Karachi; Army contingents deployed for assistance

The highest rainfall was recorded in Nazimabad at over 130mm

Web Desk

KARACHI: At least 13 people, including four children, died after the metropolis was battered with heavy rainfall on Thursday which saw Army contingents being deployed to assist in rescue efforts.

A breach in Thado dam, a rainwater retention dam situated on Malir river, flooded two nearby villages and Saadi Town.

PAF Base Faisal also issued an alert pertaining to flood threat in the area, the base is situated next to Malir river. 

The situation prompted the deployment of Pakistan Army and Sindh Rangers contingents to carry out rescue efforts in the affected localities.

Pakistan Army deployed 15 teams for the rescue work, according to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), added the teams are working alongside civil administration for dewatering of areas.

Dewatering efforts were under at Liaquatabad underpass, Nazimabad underpass, Surjani Town Sector 4, Yousuf Goth and Manghopir Ijtemagah area, the ISPR statement added.

The Pakistan Air Force also allocated two helicopters and an aircraft for rescue work to the Sindh government. 

The highest amount of rainfall was recorded at 130.3mm in Nazimabad, followed by Masroor base which received 125mm of rain. PAF Faisal base received 41mm of rain while Gulistan-e-Jauhar received 37mm of rain.

Offices witnessed low attendance due to the downpour and subsequent inundation of major thoroughfares and streets. Private schools also announced a holiday late Wednesday night.

The provincial education department too made a late announcement of schools' closure across the province. 

The northern areas of Karachi were the worst affected, with rainwater flooding homes and other structures in low-lying areas. 

The downpour not only resulted in closing down of around 90 per cent of the city's markets but also led to a halt in traffic on the link road of National Highway and Super Highway as the Goods' Transport Association decided its vehicles would stay put till the situation improves. 

Traders suffered losses worth Rs100 million, according to All Karachi Trade Union Chairman Ateeq Mir. 

Blaming the government, he said that the losses occurred due to the local government being woefully unprepared. 

All efforts must be made for rescue, relief work: PM

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took note of the rain emergency in Karachi. He instructed the Army, Rangers, National Highway Authorities among others to take adequate measures and play an active role in rescue work.

“All possible efforts must be made for rescue activities,” said Abbasi.

The premier also issued instructions to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Karachi Port Trust and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation to help with relief and rescue activities.

Earlier, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a press statement, said the Karachi administration requested the army for assistance in light of the torrential rain in the city.

"Army extending full assistance. Water extraction pumps immediately given," said the military's media wing, adding that the army chief has directed for provision of complete assistance for helping citizens.

Speaking to the media, Mayor Wasim Akhtar had pointed out that the city needs a new sewerage system.

“Karachi needs a new sewerage system; the present system has been completely destroyed,” Akhtar said.

The mayor said that he has raised these concerns with the Sindh and federal government but is yet to receive any response. “We have absolutely no hope from Singh government,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra had claimed that Provincial Disaster Management Authority has not yet sent any machinery to help with relief efforts.

Vohra said it would take five days to drain out the rainwater. 

Rainfall to continue until Friday: Met

Moreover, Hub, Badin, Mirpurkhas and other areas of Sindh also received rain whereas forecasts predict light to heavy showers across Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well. 

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) stated on its website that more widespread rain/thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds (with isolated heavy to very heavy falls) is expected in lower Sindh (Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Karachi divisions), in the next 24 hours. 

On Friday, according to the Met department, more scattered rain/thunderstorm (with isolated heavy falls) is expected in Sindh, Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur, DG Khan divisions, and isolated places in Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Malakand, Sargodha, DI Khan, Zhob, Kalat, Rawalpindi divisions, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

On the other hand, rain is expected in Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Malakand, Kohat divisions, FATA, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan on the day of Eid-ul-Azha (Saturday). Whereas, hot and humid weather is expected elsewhere in the country.

On Sunday, weather is expected to be mainly hot and humid weather in southern parts of the country, said the Met department. However, rain-thunderstorm is expected at scattered places in Islamabad, upper Punjab, upper KP, FATA, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

KE working to energise feeders 

The K-Election spokesperson Fakhar Ahmed informed Geo News that majority of the feeders, which tripped, have been energised.

However, he pointed out that teams are working to energise 60 more feeders.

On the contrary, KE sources revealed that more than 160 feeders are still down across the city.

Earlier, it was reported that 80 feeders of the power distribution company had tripped while 30-40 feeders had been shut down as precautionary measures due to urban flooding.

According to Ahmed, the power distribution company has a total of 1,600 feeders.