KARACHI         -      Eight more people died in Karachi on Saturday in rain-related incidents including drowning and electrocution, rescue workers said. The death toll from rains and floods in the port city swelled to 40 on Saturday. 

Officials said that at least 18 people drowned in flood waters while 11 others lost their lives in roof or wall collapse incidents amid heavy rainfall and lightning. Four people were electrocuted in the city, rescue workers said. In one incident, bodies of a woman and a man were recovered from the Korangi Crossing nullah. 

Separately, a boy was found dead in flood waters in Musharraf Colony area of Baldia Town in the city. Another body was recovered from Junejo Town nullah in Manzoor Colony, and was shifted to a hospital for medico-legal formalities. At least three people died in the city owing to electrocution.

In the first incident, a man died near in Natha Khan after he received an electric shock from a broken wire. Similarly, a woman was electrocuted inside her home in Sector-D-14 of Orangi Town.

The massive power breakdown triggered anti-government protests in several parts of the city. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Saturday visited the K-Electric (KE) Head Office to take the company to task over continued power outages in numerous areas of Karachi despite the passage of nearly two days since torrential rains lashed the city.

The CM’s visit came as eight more people lost their lives in various rain-related accidents, taking the overall death toll in the record-breaking monsoon spell to 40. The key arteries and underpasses, especially in the city’s downtown, and several residential areas were still inundated. Some neighbourhoods remained without power even as work continued to restore supply lines. 

The crisis-like situation led the Sindh government to declare 20 districts of the province, including all six districts of Karachi, as “calamity-affected areas”. 

A notification issued by the provincial Relief Department said the deputy commissioners of the districts which have been declared calamity-hit “shall immediately assess specific losses and move for compensation”. 

As the water level receded, business and industry struggled to restore normalcy around the mega city. Fuel pumps ran dry, telecom towers fell out of service and many ATM machines were either not functioning or empty of cash. 

Those few pumps where fuel was available were mobbed by motorbikes and cars as well as scores of people holding jerry cans to carry fuel for generators as the city-wide power outage extended beyond 24 hours. People thronged to supermarkets and corner shops to replenish food stocks, only to find them shut or flooded, and in some cases, the large sections of the artificial ceilings had fallen in as rain water seeped through the roof. Many ATMs around the city were also not functional when people ventured out after the deluge. The inundation triggered the power outages and brought movement around the city to a halt, which in turn had knock on effects on communication, banking services and fuel supply across the city. It was late into the day on Friday when normalcy began to return to the life of the city as the weekend began.