Karachi Facing Another Episode of Heavy Showers After Eid

According to Met office forecast, Karachi is going to face another episode of heavy monsoon showers and possible flooding after bearing a destructive episode of deluge during Eid-ul-Azha.  The Pakistan Meteorological Department said on Wednesday that “another strong monsoon low-pressure area” was likely to approach Sindh on Thursday (July 14) and persist till Monday (July 18).

The prediction of Met office is as follows: “Under the influence of this weather system, widespread rain-thunderstorms with few heavy/very heavy falls are likely to occur in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparkar, Tando Mohammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Sanghar, Nawabshah, Naushero Feroz, Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Dadu, Jamshoro, Shikarpur, Ghotki and Kashmore districts between July 14 and July 18,” It also predicted that parts of Thatta, Badin, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar might witness rain/thunderstorm today (Wednesday).

It has asked all authorities to remain vigilant in this regard. Sherry Rehman, climate change minister has also twitted informing that Sindh and Balochistan are still under heavy monsoon pressure for past 13 days. The Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) has set up a helpline, 1262, and also rain emergency camps to deal with rain-related situations. K-Electric, Karachi’s sole power utility, can also be called on helpline numbers 118 and (021) 99000 for help and complaints related to the suspension of electricity supply and other matters.

The destructive rainfalls have claimed several lives in Karachi. According to data compiled by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and Sindh police, 49 people have died in the province, including 31 in Karachi alone, in the weeklong monsoon spell from July 4 to July 12. The Sindh government imposed a rain emergency in Karachi after several areas and main roads across the city remained submerged in rainwater. Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said in statement water pumps would also be provided to DHA and cantonment authorities to help with clearing areas under them of rainwater as well.

There had been power outages throughout the city specially more complains of cellular service suspension from the southern district of Karachi. The K-Electric stated that the flooding had been the reason behind delay in power restoration but by Tuesday evening, it claimed to have restored electric supply in most of the areas. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sahrif tweeted regarding the loss of lives in this destructive situation in Karachi saying, “Just spoke to CM Syed Murad Ali Shah. Deeply saddened by the tragic losses due to torrential rains in Karachi. I am confident that Sindh govt will rise to the occasion & bring life back to normal under the able leadership of CM Sindh. Have offered to extend every possible support.” He also asked authorities to take necessary measures to deal with torrential rains in Sindh, Balochistan and Southern Punjab.

The opposition leader in Sindh Asembly Haleem Adil Sheikh lashed out at Sindh government asking about the whereabouts of funds allocated to clean Karachi nullahs. “The local government department was issued Rs1,020 billion during the past 14 years. But neither any sewerage line were laid nor were nullahs cleaned, ” he said, adding that an audit had unearthed irregularities worth Rs227bn in the department.

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Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah defended his government’s performance, saying, “Our storm water disposal system is not designed for such a heavy downpour; therefore, the system could not cater to the situation and on top of it the Arabian Sea was in a state of high tide, therefore our storm water drains could not discharge the accumulated rainwater into it.”