- Five killed, two injured in rain-related incidents in various parts of the city as traffic jams and prolonged power outages add to citizens’ miseries
- Met department forecasts more rain today
- Rain emergency declared, Section 144 imposed in coastal areas of Karachi
The metropolis received its first major monsoon downpour on Tuesday evening, flooding the roads as several neighbourhoods plunged into darkness after dozens of power feeders tripped.
The city received an average of over 30mm of rain, including 32.4mm in Nazimabad, 31mm in the Airport and Pehalwan Goth areas and 12mm at Faisal Base and Landhi. The temperature, recorded at a high of 38 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, fell to a cool 29 by late evening.
At least five people, including a small girl, were killed in separate rain-related incidents. A 12-year-old boy was electrocuted while playing in his street in North Karachi while a three-year-old girl died in a wall collapse incident in Orangi Town.
Two other people were injured when a tree fell on them in Lines area. The two young men were trying to protect their motorcycles from the heavy rain when a tree fell on them.
The city also witnessed major power outages as around 220 electricity feeders tripped as soon as it started drizzling, leaving several areas of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, North Nazimabad and Federal B Area without power supply for hours.
The residents of some areas in Defence, Kaneez Fatima Colony, Korangi, Malir, Landhi, Lyari and Shah Faisal Colony also faced power outages.
According to a K-Electric spokesman, 30 feeders were brought back on line almost immediately and later they were able to restore another 40.
“Power was deliberately switched off as a precautionary measure in some areas where there is a high risk of electrocution,” he added.
As more rain was expected to hit Karachi on Wednesday, Section 144 was imposed in the coastal areas of the city. Swimming in the sea has also been banned for 30 days during the monsoon season. A rise of 9 inches has been observed in the water level at the Hub Dam due to rain.
The traffic system in the city also collapsed due to rain which caused hours-long traffic jams on key roads. The traffic started slowing down in the evening and took hours to ease amid non-functioning traffic signals, absence of traffic officials from several intersections and blockade of some major roads due to the accumulated water.
In South district, hundreds of vehicles were stuck in a traffic mess on I.I Chundrigarh Road, M R Kyani Road, Sarwar Shaheed Road, Abdullah Haroon Road, Napier Road, Hasrat Mohani Road, Burnes Road, Shahrah-e-Liaquat, Saddar and Shahrah-e-Faisal.
A link on Shahrah-e-Faisal near Hotel Metropole to Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation intersection was inundated and traffic in some of the phases of the Defence Housing Authority remained disturbed for hours.
The officials said the rain badly affected two key links of East district – Korangi Causeway and Korangi Road – which linked Korangi with the rest of the city, as people opted for alternate routes which further swelled number of vehicles on the available routes.
In East district, University Road remained the worst affected area where hundreds of vehicles were seen lined up after sunset due to the rainwater accumulated on the road. Similarly, in Central district, construction work on a key traffic intersection worsened the situation for vehicular traffic.
Traffic ADIG Tahir Ahmed Noorani claimed that over 1,700 traffic cops were deployed to manage the flow of traffic but they could not do anything unless the rainwater was pumped out from the roads.
A meteorological department official explained that a rain system which entered the southern parts of the country from the north had caused this light to moderate rain on Tuesday. He said that more rain — light to moderate — was expected Wednesday.
Reasonable precautions are being taken particularly to protect the lives of picnickers who visit the beaches during the season, officials said.
With more rains in store, people in Karachi could face issues of power outages and disruption in the provision of other civic amenities even as they fast during the month of Ramzan.