KARACHI - Rain claimed one life of a 28-year-old man and other injured in separate incidents. The rain was accompanied by gusty winds battered parts of Karachi, hospital officials said.

Salahuddin lost his life after suffering an electric shock at Raheel Arcade in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) to fulfil legal formalities. In another incident, a 30-year-old man, identified as Anwar, suffered head injuries when a billboard fell on him near the Avari Towers hotel. He was shifted to the JPMC for first aid. Dr Seemin Jamali said his condition was out of danger.  Karachi received approximately 28mm of rain on Thursday afternoon which brought some relief to the people who had been enduring high temperatures for the last couple of days.  In the last spell of monsoon showers last week that lasted two days, at least eight people had died in various rain-related incidents in the metropolis, mostly due to electrocution.

  On Thursday, Karachiites took to social media to share pictures and videos from the rain that brought cool winds after days of hot and humid weather.

However, some residents reported that rainwater had accumulated on roads in a matter of minutes after the rain started.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department had earlier this week issued an urban flooding warning for Karachi and Hyderabad in which it predicted a monsoon spell in Sindh and parts of Balochistan from Thursday (today) to Saturday (August 8). To prevent the roads from being inundated as seen during last week’s heavy rains, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been working to clean Karachi’s major storm-water drains on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives.

On Tuesday, the NDMA had said in a statement that during the large-scale desilting of the city’s nullahs being carried out by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and the Sindh government, 4,364 tonnes of sludge was removed.

“The Sindh government has agreed to clean 19 nullahs of the city while FWO has been tasked to remove garbage from Gujjar, Korangi and Mowach Goth nullahs. The focus is to remove debris from 21 choked points of these nullahs. Some 24 excavators, two loaders, 90 dumpers and 224 labours are engaged in the cleansing operation,” it had added.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in pursuant of a weather advisory issued by Pakistan Meteorological Center, has detailed provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants and MPAs to perform monitoring/supervision relief activities in different districts.

The Pakistan Metrological Center has issued a weather advisory that strong monsoon currents are likely to approach Sindh on August 6, 2020, said a statement issued by the CM’s House.

Widespread rain/wind thundershowers with isolated heavy falls are expected under the weather system in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Tando Allahyar, Matiari, Tando Mohammad Khan, Jamshoro, dadu and Shaheed Benazirabad from August 6 to 8, 2020.

The scattered rain-thunderstorms are also expected in Sukkur, Larkana and Kambar-Shahdadkot, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Ghotki on August 7 to 8.

The Sindh Chief Minister, keeping in view Met office advisory has detailed provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants and MPAs to supervise and monitor relief activities in the districts assigned to them from August 6 to 8.

The Chief Minister has declared Minister Local Government Syed Nasir Shah overall Incharge at provincial level.

Syed Ghani is assigned at Karachi East, Rashid Rabbani-West, Murtaza Wahab – South, Shela Raza – Central , Mukesh Chawla – Korangi, Waqar Mehdi – Malir, Shabir Bejarani – Hyderabad, Malik Asad Sikander – Jamshoro, Fayaz But – Dadu, Makhdoom Mehmood Zaman – Matiari, Qasim Naveed – TM Khan, Imdad Pitafi – Tandoalyar, Aijaz Shah Shirazi – Sujawal, Ismail Rao – Badin, Ashfaq Memon – Thatta, Dr Azra Pechu – Benazirabad, Faraz Dero – Sanghar, Mumtaz Chandio – Neusheroferoz, Hari Ram – Mirpurkhas, Taimore Talpur – Umerkot, Syed Sardar Shah – Tharparkar,  Awais Qadir Shah – Sukkur, Nawab Wasan – Khairpur, Jam Ikram -  Ghotki, Sohail Anwar Siyal – Qambar/Shahdadkot or Larkana, Aijaz Jahkrani–Jacobabad or Kashmore, Imtiaz Shaikh – Shikarpur. The Chief Minister has directed the government representatives to move to the districts where they have been assigned the supervisory work of relief activities and keep him apprised about the situation

Wahab monitors rain situation

Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Spokesperson for Sindh Government, visited different areas of District South, Karachi as soon as it started raining on Thursday evening.  During the review, he also contacted the officials of Water & Sewerage Board and Cantonment Board Clifton and inquired about the arrangements regarding rain emergency and gave them necessary instructions.

He visited Muslim Gymkhana, II Chandragar Road, PIDC, Tower, Regal Nala, Saddar and other places and took a detailed look at the ongoing drainage works. He said that the local government staff, district administration and all institutions were working well. He said, “water should not accumulate in low-lying areas. Drainage work was underway in the low-lying areas with generators and other machinery.  The third spell of monsoon rains has started in the city.”

According to the forecast of the Meteorological Department, torrential rains have started from Thursday which will continue for the next two to three days.

“Chief Minister Sindh has formed monitoring committees in all districts of Sindh comprising ministers, advisers and special assistants,” he informed.

He also said that the current monsoon system was very strong. The work of cleaning the drains of Karachi was being continued on emergency basis. 

He said, “the drains of the city are not under Sindh government. All drains are under MC and DMCs. Despite this, the Sindh government is fulfilling this responsibility. The NDMA is cleaning three major drains of the city including Gujjar Drain and two cantonment drains for which we are grateful.” 

Wahab said that due to the current system of rains, two days ago, there was a catastrophe in the Indian city of Mumbay. The low-lying areas were flooded.  “I also pay tribute to all the local government staff who are removing the long-trapped stones, wire nets and other heavy objects from the sewers so that the rain water can pass through the blackouts,” says the spokesperson.

 

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Meteorological Department recorded 11.3mm of rain at the airport observatory, 4.5mm at Masroor base, 23.5mm at the Faisal base, 4.8mm in North Karachi, and 28mm in Saddar area.

Earlier in the day, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued an advisory and alerted the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and relevant departments ahead of a stronger rain spell.

The NDMA has warned that urban flooding could occur in Karachi, Hyderabad and other cities by the expected rains.

“Road clearing machinery and necessary staff should be prepared for an emergency situation,” said the NDMA in its advisory. It also advised citizens not to leave their homes for any unnecessary things and stay away from electricity poles.

The NDMA also advised fishermen to not go deep into the sea as the waves will be high in Sindh and Makran coastal belt.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has already warned that the weather in Karachi will be very hot and humid before a strong monsoon system resulting in heavy rains will hit Karachi in the evening or night.

“The temperature is expected to rise up to 39 to 41 degrees Celsius, with 70 to 80% humidity. This will be followed by a thunderstorm with rain and gusty winds,” said Karachi Met Director Abdul Qayyum Bhutto.

Rejecting the rumours circulating on social media claiming that the weather system that is expected to cause heavy rains in the province has been named, Bhutto said that only tropical cyclones formed in the Arabian Sea are labelled for identification and to help regional countries.

He clarified that land-based weather systems are never named by any of the meteorological departments around the world. “Some people’s use of such terms on social media for the upcoming weather system has not only confused the masses but also created confusion among the national authorities and international meteorologists.”

According to Bhutto, the merger of two monsoon systems — one present in south-east Sindh and the other originating from the Bay of Bengal — heavy to very heavy rains are expected in the entire southern province, including Karachi. “Both the weather systems are strengthening.”

He said that widespread thunderstorms with isolated heavy to very heavy rains are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Tando Allahyar, Matiari, Tando Mohammad Khan, Jamshoro, Dadu and Shaheed Benazirabad from Thursday to Saturday. “We are expecting 100mm to 130mm of rain in Karachi during this period.”

Following the forecast of heavy rains, an emergency has been declared at every tertiary-care hospital in the province, while all the medical superintendents, executive directors, district health officers and other officials have been advised to remain highly vigilant.