Seven more people die as rain lashes Karachi for second day

BHAGWANDAS | IMTIAZ ALI KARACHI: Seven more persons died in rain-related incidents in the metropolis on Sunday, taking the death toll to 10 in the last two days, police, hospital officials and rescue services said. The city received 54mm (over 2 two inches) of rain on Sunday — around 110mm (over 4 inches) since Saturday — said a meteorological department official, predicting more thunderstorms and rains for Monday. The fresh deaths included that of 25-year-old Jabbar Raheem, who was electrocuted in Surjani Town. Mohammed Naseem, Surjani SHO, said the victim was inside a shop in Sector 7-D when he touched an iron pipe and died on the spot. His body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Nazar Khan, 23, was electrocuted while he was sitting near an electric pole outside his home in Quaidabad. His body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. An officer at the Khwaja Ajmer Nagri police station told Dawn that 30-year-old Shoaib died from electrocution in Sector-2 of New Karachi. However, his family did not provide any details nor were they willing to pursue the case. A Chhipa official said Shoaib’s three-year-old brother was also electrocuted but the boy survived. A 40-year-old man, identified as Javed Ahmed, died from electrocution near the Dr Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton within the limits of Boat Basin police, according to an Edhi Foundation spokesperson. Shahzeb Mir, 19, too suffered a similar fate near Navy Gate in T&T Colony in Gizri. Nazeer Husain, 62, sustained critical injuries when he slipped and fell down from the servant quarters located at the rooftop of the Commissioner House in Civil Lines where some repair work was under way. He was transported to Civil Hospital Karachi, where he died during treatment. The incident occurred at around noon. The deceased was a contractor, said Civil Lines SHO Waqar Ahmed Tanoli. The officer added that it was an accidental death hence no legal proceedings would be initiated. A teenage boy died while his father sustained injuries after a wall collapsed on them in Orangi Town. Orangi SHO Khan Mohammed Shaikh said that Nazar Khan, 18, died and his father, Shirin Khan, 55, sustained injuries when the wall of their house fell down due to rains at Majeed Goth in MPR Colony. Similar weather expected today Responding to Dawn queries the met official said that other towns of the province in the eastern, southern and northern parts also received rains on Sunday and similar weather conditions were expected on Monday. Landhi received the maximum amount of rainfall 54mm. At other areas in the city the amount of rain recorded was: airport/old area (31mm); Jinnah Terminal (30.2); Gulistan-i-Jauher (29.5); Sharea Faisal (31); Nazimabad (3); Gulshan-i-Hadeed (25); PAF Base Masroor (10); Saddar (8); and North Karachi (17.6). The weatherman said that maximum temperature recorded in the city on Sunday was 29.8 degrees Celsius and minimum temperature recorded was 27.5 degrees Celsius. Humidity — amount of moisture in the atmosphere — was 88 per cent. The met official said that the weather in the city on Monday was expected to remain partly cloudy / cloudy with chances of thunderstorm rain and maximum temperature was expected to remain between 31 and 33 degrees Celsius. He said that some other towns in the province also received rain in the past 24 hours. The rain recorded in different towns was: Dadu (61mm); Hyderabad (15); Badin (33); Sukkur (42); Rohri (35); Mirpurkhas (21); Mithi (23); Chhor (13); Tando Jam (25); Islamakot and Nagar Parkar (15); Chhachhro (12); Larkana and Moenjodaro (4). He said that rain and thundershowers with isolated heavy falls and gusty winds were likely to occur at a number of places in all divisions of Sindh on Monday. Owing to a choked sewerage and storm-water drains filled with solid waste, many low-lying areas and different places along the main roads, including Sharea Faisal at Natha Khan Goth, remained inundated. As a result long queues of vehicles could be seen moving at a snail’s pace causing traffic jams. Though at some places civic agency staffers could be seen draining the accumulated rainwater, considering the speed at which the work was being carried out, it was bound to take some time before the entire accumulated rainwater would be drained. Preventive measures To prevent urban flooding, the Malir district administration on Sunday said they had made “all the required arrangements” to ensure that no more urban settlements were ruined by a sudden gush of rainwater caused by the mountains on the fringes of Karachi. “We have taken the required arrangements to make sure there is no recurrence of a situation we witnessed three years ago in Saadi Town,” said a spokesman for the Malir administration. He said the deputy commissioner of Malir had asked his subordinates to take required measures to prevent urban flooding. “The situation on ground is in control,” said the official. “We are confident that this time all the urban settlements will remain safe.” Experts say usually rainwater from Balochistan enters the Lyari river creek in North Nazimabad, Surjani, Gadap and Taiser towns before culminating into the Arabian Sea. “The water that submerged Saadi Town and Amroha Colony must have come from other channels or water bodies, especially when we see that authorities have set up many reservoirs during the last few years,” said an expert. KE teams remain ‘active’ The fragile system of the electricity utility in the city also collapsed and with many of its transformers etc becoming nonoperational many parts of the metropolis were left without power for several hours causing hardships to citizens. According to a statement, K-Electric (KE) teams remained active on Sunday as the city experienced another spell of rain. KE’s rapid response teams came into action immediately in the aftermath of rains to address any disruptions in supply. A majority of the affected feeders were normalised within an hour, said the statement, and most of the feeders affected by the rains on Sunday were re-energised within a few hours. Uninterrupted supply to strategic installations, including the airport and Dhabeji, was ensured. KE teams remained in the field to address localised faults and individual queries. Affected areas include Malir, North Karachi, and parts of Gulshan-i-Iqbal. According to a KE spokesperson, field teams and customer call centre worked round the clock to ensure supply and restoration of power to affected customers in the city. The KE urged people to inform its staff of any broken wires or complaints by calling 118 or 021-99000. Queries may also be sent via SMS to 8119 or through KE’s digital platforms. Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2016