Rain emergency in Sindh: Half-day announced for offices in Karachi

Rana Javaid
A man rides bicycle along a flooded road, following heavy rains during the monsoon season in Karachi, Pakistan July 25, 2022. —Reuters
A man rides bicycle along a flooded road, following heavy rains during the monsoon season in Karachi, Pakistan July 25, 2022. —Reuters

  • Karachi mayor says decision is taken as an “abundant precaution”
  • Sindh govt wants offices in Karachi to shut from 2pm.
  • CM has put local bodies institutes, hospitals on high alert.

KARACHI: The Sindh government has declared rain emergency in the province and decided that offices in Karachi would be open for half day on Friday (tomorrow), viewing the forecast of rains in the megalopolis.

In a post on X, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui Thursday said the decision for the half-day was taken as an “abundant precaution”. He also requested citizens to avoid travelling unnecessarily to stave off any inconvenience.

“Though preparations have been made, as a matter of abundant precaution, it has been decided in meeting presided by CM that tomorrow will be a half day for offices in Karachi division from 2pm. Citizens are requested to also avoid unnecessary movement to avoid any inconvenience,” he tweeted.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department had on Wednesday forecast rain, and windstorm with likeliness of isolated hailstorm in Sindh between February 29 and March 2.

Earlier, the mayor said the Sindh chief minister had convened a meeting to overview rain preparations early Thursday morning. The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had declared rain emergency, cancelled staff members’ leaves and deployed heavy machinery for clearing nullahs, he said.

“Climate change is a reality. February or March were not known for rainfall in Karachi. KMC has already declared rain emergency & machinery is being deployed for clearing different choking points,” he wrote.

Sindh CM declares rain emergency

Addressing the meeting regarding rain predictions, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah declared a rain emergency in the province. The chief minister’s spokesperson said the CM has put the local bodies, administrations and hospitals on high alert.

The chief minister suggested people to avoid getting out of their houses unnecessarily. He said three to four spells of rain were expected to hit Karachi Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General Salman Shah briefed the Sindh CM on the expected rains. He said the southern parts of Sindh were expected to receive rain from Thursday night till March 2 (Saturday).

The PDMA director general said the province’s central parts were expected to experience rains on March 1, whereas rain will likely hit Karachi Friday afternoon. He said Karachi was expected to receive from 13 to 16 millimetres of rain.

The CM said water would enter Sindh from the mountain ranges of Jhal Magsi and Khuzdar too.

The provincial irrigation department secretary apprised the meeting that the government had built three dams in Karachi to cater to the water problem.

Apprising the forum, Mayor Siddiqui said he was trying to resolve the issue of rainwater drainage in Karachi. The PDMA DG said water pressure intensified on Shahra-e-Faisal because of rain in Karachi, hence, his department would give machinery to the KMC for draining purpose.

The chief minister directed the DIG traffic to improve flow of vehicular traffic amid rain.