While moderate showers on Monday brought a pleasant change in the hot and humid climate persisting in Karachi, the weather – as usual – turned the port city into a municipal mess.
Rainwater on the roads resulted in massive traffic gridlocks in most parts of the city. At several places along University Road, MA Jinnah Road, Shahrae Pakistan, Shahrae Liaquat and near Merewether Tower, vehicles lined up due to pools of rainwater. Although sanitary staff worked on major thoroughfares to clear out rainwater, it took hours for the commuters to reach their destinations.
As the downpour started, public transport went off the roads and rickshaw and taxi started demanding more fares than usual.Surprisingly, barring a few points near FTC Flyover and Christian Graveyard, the overall drainage situation at Sharea Faisal, one of the busiest thoroughfares, was under control.
The rain also played havoc at Rashid Minhas Road and several neighbourhoods near Sindh Assembly and secretariat buildings, Arts Council, Clifton Bridge and Garibabad underpass. Most roads near Lines Area and Korangi were still submerged when this report was written.
A 10-year-old boy and a woman were among three people killed in rain-related accidents.Naimat, 10, boy was electrocuted in Nai Abadi, Baldia Town when a live wire fell on him. The body was shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi.
A 45-year-old, married woman Najma Iqbal was electrocuted when she touched an electricity pole near Gol Market in Nazimabad No 2. The victim was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. She lived in Liaquatabad No 1.Another victim of the weather was 25-year-old Danish, who died after a wall at his house collapsed in Nazimabad No 7.
While citizens heaved a sigh of relief as the mercury dipped a few degrees, prolonged power failures made life miserable for many.
Power supply resumed only after three to four hours in some areas. Residents of several blocks in Federal B Area claimed the downpour had stopped around 3pm but the power supply was not restored late in the evening.
Many feeders of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) had tripped due to heavy rain. Of the 1,350 electricity feeders, 43 feeders were affected but by 3:45pm most of them had started functioning, a press statement issued by the KESC read. A 132kV extra-high tension transmission line tripped, affecting the grids of Federal A and B Area and North Karachi but the grids were re-energised after a while.
Most parts of the city received light to moderate showers. The highest amount of rainfall was recorded in North Nazimabad with 41mm, Saddar 38mm and North Karachi 35mm.
The Met Office recorded 13mm rain at PAF Masroor Base, 10mm in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, 8mm at PAF Faisal Base while the Karachi airport and its adjoining areas received 6mm rain. Five millimetres of rain was recorded in Landhi and Phelwan Goth.
The city will have partly cloudy weather with chances of thunderstorm and rain during the next 24 hours. The new westerly disturbed weather system has arrived in Karachi, which could cause more rains, a met official said.
The minimum temperature was recorded at 26.8 degrees Celsius and a maximum at 34.5 degrees Celsius with 69 percent humidity. The range of maximum temperature on Tuesday would remain between 32 degrees Celsius and 34 degrees Celsius.
A “rain emergency” was declared by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator in view of the moderate showers. The leaves of all municipal staff were cancelled and they were ordered to join their duties immediately.
Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi visited various areas of the city after rain, claiming the municipal authority would closely monitor the drainage of rainwater in low-lying areas.All available resources, including manpower, heavy machinery and suction pumps, would be employed to drain out rainwater from the affected areas, he said.
The administrator directed the KMC staffers of municipal services, fire brigade, parks and horticulture and other compulsory services to stay alert and maintain close coordination with each other to tackle the situation in case of more rains.
Drenched in rain, children play games while enjoying the weather —The News photo by Saeed Qureshi