KARACHI            -        Seven people died as rain lashed Karachi on Friday, causing urban flooding in many areas of the metropolis. The rainfall also led to flooded roads and traffic jams as well as power outages continued to plague citizens of the port city.

Amid the downpour recorded today, a young man died after being electrocuted in the city’s Docks area, according to police and rescue officials.

They stated that 20-year-old Saifullah died from electrocution while turning on an electrical switch at his home in Machar Colony. The body was shifted to Civil Hospital to complete legal formalities.

SHO Azam Rajpur told that the deceased’s family didn’t want to pursue the case legally.

Separately, two men died after being struck by lightning on the outskirts of Malir. The deceased were identified as Shah Nawaz and Sultan Mallah.

Police and rescue workers said the two died after being struck by lightning at a farm house in Haji Mehar Goth.

In the New Karachi area, a man, his teenaged son and brother drowned in a drain on Friday evening, according to police. Area SHO Tahir Khan said Bilal, 17, slipped and fell into a nullah near Bismillah Chowk. His father Nasir and Nasir’s brother Adnan jumped in order to save the teenager but they too drowned. The officer said the nullah was inundated after the heavy rain.

Rescue workers and area residents were trying to rescue the three family members but there was no sign of them despite the passage of one hour, Khan said. In a separate incident, a teenager drowned in Lyari River near Teen Hatti, according to rescue workers. They said that some boys were playing football when the ball fell into the river.

As Ali Raza tried to retrieve it, heavy flow of water swept him away. An Edhi Foundation spokesperson said they had to stop the operation to rescue him due to darkness. According to the Met department, the highest amount of rainfall, 170mm, was recorded in Surjani Town.

Meanwhile, 6.7mm was recorded at Karachi (MOS), 44.5mm at PAF Masroor Base, 14mm at PAF Faisal Base, 77mm at Gulshan-e-Hadeed, 88mm at North Karachi, 85.6mm at Nazimabad, 16mm at Saddar, 20.5mm at Landhi, 21.4mm at University Road, 18.2mm at Jinnah Terminal, 11.5mm at Kemari and 28.5mm at Saadi Town. On Thursday, the Met office had predicted that the monsoon spell in Karachi and other parts of Sindh as well as Balochistan entering today (Friday) could last till Monday.

“Strong monsoon currents are expected to penetrate Sindh from Friday to Monday,” it said in a brief statement.

“Under the influence of this system rain, winds and thundershowers, with a few moderate to isolated heavy falls, are expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu, Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar, Sukkur, Larkana, Lasbela, Khuzdar, Barkhan, Zhob, Musa Khel, Loralai, Kohlu and Sibbi from Friday to Monday.”

Depts concerned told to remain alert

Earlier today, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed the departments concerned to remain alert and begin preparations for draining rainwater.

“As soon as the rain stops, water accumulated in low-lying areas should be drained using machines,” he directed. People’s homes should be protected, he said. The administration should take all the possible steps to protect the lives and the property of the people, he said.

Despite these directives, images and videos shared on social media showed rainwater accumulated on roads and entering houses. Citizens called out the administration for their failure to rectify the city’s crumbling drainage system, despite making tall claims.

Earlier today, Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that the provincial government was blamed whenever it rained in Karachi even though all ministers, including the Chief Minister, were present on the ground and dealing with the situation.

Speaking at a press conference, Wahab said that rains had “wreaked havoc” in Lahore yesterday and water had entered hospitals and houses. But the Chief Minister was nowhere to be seen and the Prime Minister didn’t take notice, he said.

“No one said that Lahore was destroyed.”

Earlier in August, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman to visit Karachi and begin cleaning up the city.

The premier signed a summary authorising NDMA and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to carry out a cleanliness drive in Karachi with “unlimited funds.”

The premier had issued the directions after three separate monsoon spells in July laid waste to the city’s crumbling infrastructure as rainwater, mixed with sewage, flooded entire localities in the city and turned roads into rivers.