At least 23 killed as downpours wreak havoc in Karachi, army deployed for assistance (VIDEOS + PHOTOS)

  • Met Office says rains are expected to continue for three days in various parts of Sindh
  • Rangers and Army officials are also assisting in relief operations in various parts of the city

KARACHI – At least 23 people have died in Karachi ─ mostly from electrocution ─ as monsoon rains lashed the city on Thursday, officials said. Two others have died in Sindh’s Jamshoro and Kashmore districts, DawnNews reported.

According to the Met Department, the rains which began Wednesday evening are expected to continue for three days in various parts of Sindh.

Residents of Karachi can call the Karachi Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) rain emergency centres at 0332-2685090, 0335-7553976 and 1339 in case of emergency.

Various parts of the city — including North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Orangi, Malir, Drigh Road, NIPA, Northern Bypass and Gujjar Nala — are submerged because of the heavy rains, while some bridges have turned into virtual swimming pools.

A video surfaced showing water gushing out of the breach in the retention dam’s wall.

Media reports suggest two nearby villages, Usman Khaskheli Goth and Amir Bux Goth, are being submerged under the water. About 6,000 people live in the area.

Relief operations:

As Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa instructed the army to extend full support to Karachi city administration, the army provided water extraction pumps to the administration, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Rangers and Army officials are also assisting in relief operations in various parts of the city, DawnNews reported.

The Pakistan Air Force has allocated a C-130 aircraft and two helicopters to the Sindh government to take part in rescue and relief operations if necessary.

Additionally, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah — who is currently in Makkah for Haj — directed Health Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro that emergency departments at all government-run hospitals should remain stocked, and that the availability of doctors at all government health facilities is ensured throughout the province.

The chief minister also directed the Sindh chief secretary to ensure that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority is helping citizens as rains pound the province.

Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar had, on Monday, directed KMC staff to remain alert and ready with all required equipment and machinery to tackle problems related to the expected rainfall.

Power supply:

According to K-Electric (KE) Communications Director Sadia Dada, 30 of Karachi’s 1,600 feeders remained affected this evening.

“Some feeders have been switched off in view of safety concerns in areas with waterlogging, and restoration work will be expedited in affected areas as soon as standing water is wiped out,” Dada said earlier.

She urged residents to exercise caution around electric supply points and transmission lines on the streets, particularly in areas with urban flooding, and asked them to report broken wires and other issues on KE’s helplines.

Customers can register queries/complaints on 118 or 99000, and through KE’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Flood warning:

Following days-long downpours in neighboring India that especially caused havoc in Mumbai, a well-marked low pressure system in the neighbouring country sent out very strong moisture currents which generated widespread rain in lower Sindh, scattered areas of Punjab and upper parts of the country on Wednesday.

Windstorms and rains are expected to lash scattered places in Sindh (Sukkur, Larkana and Shaheed Benazir-abad, etc) and Punjab (Lahore, Gujran­wala, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawal­pur and Dera Ghazi Khan, etc), besides parts of Balochistan and upper parts of the country — Hazara, Pesha­war, Malakand and Sargodha divisions, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

The Met Department has asked citizens to avoid “unnecessary travel.”

11 die in rain-related incidents in Karachi