NAWABSHAH/ MIRPURKHAS/ THATTA/ LARKANA/ SHAHDADKOT/ QUETTTA:- STAFF REPORTERS/Agencies - Intermittent bursts of rain and wind lashed parts of Sindh and Balochistan on Saturday, killing as many as nine people, damaging crops over vast swathes, flooding low-lying localities, causing frequent electricity cuts and worsening the already chaotic traffic during the rush hour.

The spell of incessant torrential rains has somewhat belied the claims of district administrations about rain emergency arrangements, as residential areas, especially in low-lying localities, remained submerged by rainwater.  According to sources, floodwater in Mach stream of Quetta had also washed away gas and water pipelines.

“Four people have been killed in rain-related incidents in Nawabshah alone,” authorities said, adding that two of them were children, who died in a roof-collapse in Old City area. A 13-year-old girl, namely Iqra, and an unidentified man succumbed to their injuries at a hospital, after the roof of their house near Madina Mosque caved in. Ten others received critical injuries in the same incident. Doctors, however, said they were out of danger.  In Allahabad locality of Shahdadkot, a seven-year-old girl, Sawera, died while five others – a woman and four children – sustained injuries in roof-collapse incidents. The injured, including 10-year-old Nazeer, Gul Khatoon, 3, eight-year-old Wazeer Ali, Sudheer, 7, were ferried to a local hospital.

In Quetta, four of a family, including a woman and a girl, died after the level of floodwater in Mach stream, located in Qila Saifullah area, increased alarmingly due to heavy rainfall. The heavy rains also inundated many residential areas in some localities of Balochistan.

Zhob Division Commissioner Ikhtiyar Khan Bangalzai meanwhile said the situation was under control and no loss of life was reported in Amakzai Dam area. He said spillway of the dam was opened for smooth outflow of the floodwater.

He said no damage was caused to the dam in the recent flood, adding that Tatai area of Loralai had been affected by the recent flood and rescue teams were also moved into the area. Until the filing of this report, heavy rain was continuing intermittently in Thatta district. Thatta city was inundated in knee-deep water mixed with sewerage and salinity due to failure of drainage system. Electric power also broke out with the first shower of rain. Most of the shops in main Shahi bazaar of Thatta city were inundated, causing losses to shopkeeper. Also, growers complained of losses to their standing crops. Some wedding ceremonies were postponed in twin cities of Thatta and Makli in view of the heavy rainfall.

In Mirpurkhas, rainwater seeped into residential areas from streets and main roads. Reports said that the condition in low-lying areas was even more pathetic. All commercial and routine activities stood paralyzed and people from rural areas avoided to travel to the city and towns. Also, shops in various markets remained closed.

According to sources, many thatched houses were damaged and villagers were being shifted to safe places. Heavy pumping machines were being installed to drain out rainwater from MA Jinnah Road, Mirwah Road, Bhansinghabad Road, Umerkot Road, Sir Syed Road, Hyderabad Road, Colony Road etc. Besides, frequent electricity outages stopped small industries from functioning.  Although traffic remained thin, massive gridlocks were witnessed on waterlogged roads during rush hour.

As per reports, intermittent rains also hit Mirwah Gorchani, Digri, Tando Jan Mohammad, Jhuddo, Naokot, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, Phuladyyoon, Hingorno, Sindhri, Khaan and Jhilori areas.  In Larkana, heavy rain flooded streets and roads, exposing claims of the NSUSC about its rain emergency arrangements. Choked drains added to the miseries of the people.

Deputy Commissioner Assadullah Abro along with North Urban Services Corporation (NSUSC) officials visited Allahabad, Murad Wahan, Police Lines, Christian Colony, Lahori Muhalla, Hyderi and several parts of the union councils in order to provide relief to the people.

He ordered that fuel and de-watering machines be provided to pump out rainwater from inundated roads and streets.

In Hyderabad, one-and-a-half hours long intermittent rain exposed the emergency plan of the district administration. Hyderabad received the first spell of 30 minutes intermittent showers around 6 am. The one-and-a-half hours long second spell at around 3:30 pm inundated low-lying areas of Hyderabad City, Latifabad and Qasimabad talukas of the district. Liaquat Colony, Firdous Colony, Pinjrapol, Paretabad, Phuleli, Goods Naka, Tando Yousuf, Tando Mir Mehmood, Tando Thoro, Hali Road, Gari Khata, Qazi Qayoom Road, Haider Chowk, Al-Rahim Centre, Dadan Shah-jo-Pir, Pathan Colony, Ghariabad and different units of Latifabad and localities of Qasimabad were the areas where the citizens experiences  high standing rainwater.

     In many areas including Thandi Sarak, the people left their vehicles abandoned because of developing faults while passing in accumulated rainwater. The electricity went off in almost all three urban talukas of the district since the start of rainfall. In some areas, the electricity restored after passage of four hours time while the electricity still not restored in many areas till late hours.