KARACHI - Authorities have declared emergency across Karachi in view of the Meteorological Department’s forecast of heavy rain in the metropolis on Thursday and Friday. The weather monitory body has predicted heavy showers with gusty winds in Karachi and other parts of the country today as well as tomorrow, spurring the city authorities to precautionary action.

Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, declaring a rain emergency, has readied water-drainage machines, generators and cranes and instructed its field staff to remain on a 24-hour alert.

Despite advanced warning by the Met Office and the Supreme Court’s orders to clear stormwater drains in the city, several drains remain clogged with garbage, posing a threat to settlements located in their vicinity.

The 28-kilometre long Gujjar Nullah, along with stormwater drains in Khamosh Colony and Teen Talwar Clifton have still not been cleared and restored to their original width.

For Thursday, the Met Office has forecast rain-thundershower with gusty winds at scattered places in Zhob, Kalat, D.I. Khan, Mirpur Khas, Lahore, Gujranwala divisions, Kashmir and isolated places in Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Mardan, Sargodha, Rawalpindi, D.G. Khan, Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Karachi, Larkana, Hyderabad, Makran divisions, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.

For Friday, rain-thundershower with gusty winds is expected at scattered places in Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad, Karachi, Kalat, Zhob, Bahawalpur divisions and Kashmir, and at isolated places in Malakand, Hazara, Kohat, Bannu, Peshawar, D.I. Khan, D.G. Khan, Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Quetta divisions, FATA, Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pre-monsoon rains in scattered places in Balochistan have increased water levels in Hub dam by a foot, said Project Director Sohail Khan.

The official explained that the rainwater from faraway mountainous areas of the province took two days to reach the dam. The inflow of rainwater is continuing, and with more rains expected today the dam levels may improve further, he added.

Earlier this week, water levels at the Hub dam were reported to have dropped to a dangerously low level, creating an acute shortage of water in Karachi and surrounding areas.

Monsoon arrangements

reviewed

Hyderabad Commissioner Ahsan Mangi has asked the officers of all concerned departments to be alert and ensure the availability of all precautionary measures in order to meet the challenges of expected heavy monsoon rainfalls in Hyderabad.

He issued such directives while presiding over a meeting here at his office on Thursday which reviewed the arrangements for monsoon rains in Hyderabad.

The commissioner directed the authorities of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and Water and Sanitation Agency to de-silt all drain lines and ensure the removal of all kinds of encroachments from there.

He asked the Deputy Commissioner to take affidavit from heads of Irrigation Departments, HMC, WASA and Qasimabad Municipal Committee regarding repair of river embankments and activation of de-watering and water supply pumping machines.

He underlined the need of coordinated efforts to meet the rain emergency if occurred as a result of heavy monsoon rains adding that extra ordinary efforts are required or disposal of rainwater from thickly populated areas of Hyderabad where the garbage lifter and water sucking vehicles could not carry out the rain emergency operation.

He also asked the officers of all concerned departments to prepare comprehensive contingency plans so that any eventuality during expected heavy rains could be averted.