Monday, July 11, 2022
At least five more people were killed due to electrocution and structural collapse Monday as the ongoing monsoon spell wreaked havoc on Karachi.
Following the devastation, Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif spoke to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, offering help after heavy rains brought life in Pakistan’s largest city to a halt.
The rains that began on the evening of Eid ul Adha’s first day continued to pour till today, leaving several parts of Karachi submerged and main roads — including Shahrah-e-Faisal, Dr Ziauddin Ahemd Road and II Chundrigarh Road — inundated.
The prime minister said although he was deeply saddened by the tragic losses due to torrential rains in Karachi, he was confident that the Sindh government will rise to the occasion and bring life back to normal under the able leadership of CM Shah.
The premier also directed the provincial governments and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for employing coordinated efforts to ensure public safety and relocation of the affected people as monsoon rains battered parts of the country.
The prime minister said that all-out efforts should be ensured to protect people against losses, instructing the NDMA to join hands with the provincial governments as well as the provincial disaster management authorities.
Calling for relocation of the affected population to safer areas, the prime minister directed the federal government institutions to extend all possible support to the provincial governments and institutions to handle the situation.
An official from the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that this year’s monsoon system has caused above-average rainfall in Balochistan, while the monsoon average in Karachi stood at 141mm.
Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarafraz warned that the effects of climate change were being felt with the severity of the weather — as heavy rains have wreaked havoc on Pakistan.
For Karachi, the chief meteorologist forecast a gloomy picture as he said that the rains were expected to continue for a few hours and the next system will hit the metropolis from July 14-18.
“During the second system, heavy rains are expected.”
In conversation with journalists after conducting a short visit to Karachi, the chief minister defended Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui, saying that “in my view, this time, the administrator has worked like never before.”
CM Murad said their ministers were working on the streets to fix the drainage systems, adding that the staff of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and District Municipal Corporations (DMC), including the committee, were made to deal with the emergency situations and performed their duties during the rains in Karachi.
The chief minister said that Karachi faced record-breaking rainfall.
"There was a heavy spell last night and another in the morning that continued for three hours," said the CM, adding that the city's south district received 233 millimetres of rain in 15 hours due to which its condition turned to worst.
CM Sindh added that it will be a relief if it does not rain for the next 10 hours.
The chief minister assured to drain the water as soon as possible and said that PM Shehbaz has also assured the federal government’s cooperation in this regard.
"The encroachments on drains will be taken care of even if it is a government building," said the CM, adding that the government will assist the families of those who passed away in these rains.
Former maritime minister and senior PTI leader Ali Zaidi lambasted the Sindh government for poor governance, adding that the metropolis should be declared a “disaster-struck city” immediately.
“There is no governance in Karachi,” he said in a statement, questioning where the Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PMDA) was.
Criticising the PPP further, he said: “They have been in power in Sindh for the last 15 years, they could not even clean nullahs. The government only had to remove garbage from the drainage lines.”
Several main roads and streets were completely flooded in Karachi as heavy rainfall once again exposed the city’s drainage system and the Sindh government’s claims regarding its rain emergency plans.
The city’s posh areas, including DHA and Clifton, were submerged due to heavy showers where rainwater entered homes with the masses slamming authorities for their negligence that has ruined their Eid.
Meanwhile, in a statement, MQM-P has lashed out at the Sindh government over its “failure” amid continuous heavy rainfall.
“Rains have once again exposed the state of Karachi's infrastructure. The city’s sewerage system is choked with roads giving a view of ponds.”
The MQM-P, a key partner in the Shahbaz Sharif-led coalition government, said citizens are suffering due to the incompetence of the Sindh government.
“Sindh government ministers and officials are celebrating Eid in their home areas.”
As a result of the torrential rains, several roads in the metropolis were inundated with water and closed for traffic.
In a statement, the Karachi Traffic Police said several feet of water had accumulated on Shahrah-e-Faisal at different points, while Dalmia Road is closed for traffic after it was flooded earlier today.
Several feet of water had accumulated near the Baloch Colony bridge, blocking vehicular movement on the main artery.
Karaz Road too was closed by the police.
The police officials said the traffic at Sher Shah Paracha Chowk has been affected due to the accumulation of water, while the flow of the water at Korangi Causeway Road has increased after overnight showers.
They said that Essa Nagri, NIPA Chowrangi, and Johar Chowrangi were closed for traffic as they were inundated.
The PMD issued a weather advisory stating that rain/thunderstorm (with a few heavy falls) is expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur, and Larkana divisions for the next 48 hours.
Keeping in view the situation, the PMD recommended deputy commissioners/DDMA chairmen, and other relevant stakeholders to take all necessary precautionary measures, including:
According to the PMD data, the highest amount of rainfall was recorded in DHA Phase-II which received 126.6mm of rain.
The average three-month monsoon rain record in Karachi is 141.4mm rainfall, but this year’s torrential rains have broken it in just a few days. The city’s July average, according to the PMD, is 53.2mm, August 64.6mm, and September 23.6mm rainfall.
However, the metropolis received heavy downfall as Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) area recorded the highest rainfall at 233.2mm, Pakistan Air Force Masroor Base 172.5mm, and the airforce’s Faisal Base recorded 153mm rainfall.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh released the statistics for the last 20 days — from June 20 to July 10.
In a statement, Karachi-Electric said power restoration efforts to major areas across the city continued swiftly after a strong monsoon spell gripped the city.
Approximately 500 feeders were affected due to rains, and K-Electric teams restored more than 95% of them by today evening.
Areas that KE teams restored included Surjani Town 5C-4, Mehran Town sector 6, Nazimabad no. 3 & no. 4, Federal B area block 14 & 15, Gulshan e Iqbal block 5 and 6, Main Saba Avenue, Liaquatabad No. 2 and 3, Manghopir Industrial Area, and various parts of DHA. Furthermore, north Karachi, Johar, Orangi, Zia colony, Musharraf colony, SITE Naurus Chowrangi, Shah Faisal Colony, Mai Kolachi, and PECHS were also among the restored areas.
"KE's field teams were on high alert to normalize the power supply," the statement added.
Urging caution, the utility requested that emergency electricity complaints be routed to 118, while social media platforms and KE live app can be used for further facilitation and support.