Severe urban flooding in Karachi after record heavy downpour
The port city was inundated on Monday after it received record rainfall overnight which continued till almost 11am in most areas, leaving routine life in Karachi paralysed.
The southern areas of Karachi, including DHA, Clifton, Kemari, Saddar and other localities reportedly received the highest amount of rainfall after a slow-moving thunderstorm stalled over the city during early morning hours.
Most areas of DHA and Clifton were inundated, with water levels in some localities almost waist-high. At least five people died due to electrocution across the metropolis.
Main I.I Chundrigar, DHA, Clifton Underpass, Delhi Colony road, Sharae Faisal and other major arteries of the city were also inundated. The city's traffic police said that underpasses at Punjab Chowrangi, Abdullah Shah Ghazi Shrine and at KPT were closed for traffic due to water accumalation.
Highways leading out of the city were also inundated due to excessive rainfall. The Karachi - Hyderabad track of the highway was closed due to flooding.
At least 120mm of rainfall has been recorded in district south, with areas near the coast reporting higher amounts of rainfall. Citizens of the port city also complained about prolonged power outages on social media.
Pakistan Army and Rangers personnel are busy in relief efforts after the unprecedented rain spell. At least 388 dewatering pumps have been set up by the armed forces and the civil administration to clear the worst affected localities.
Gujjar, Orangi and Mehmoodabad nullahs are reportedly flowing at full capacity, making it necessary to de-water submerged areas with pumps.
City Administrator Murtaza Wahab said it rained up to 126mm in certain areas of Karachi in three hours. He added that the storm drains and nullahs are taking water "but the process is slow".
Wahab said the administration is trying its best to "address the situation" and pumping stations, installed at various spots, are working at full capacity.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed all relevant departments to expedite work and also issued orders to deploy suction pumps across the city to speed up the process of draining rainwater.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, taking notice of the torrential rains in the metropolis, said he was deeply saddened by the tragic losses suffered in the city.
He express his confidence in the Sindh government and added he has offered to extend every possible support to the provincial government.
CM Murad addresses the media
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, in a briefing to the media, said a very heavy spell of rain was witnessed in the city in various areas of district south. He highlighted that around 223mm of rain fell during a span of 15 hours.
The chief minister said that authorities were facing challenges in draining flooded areas. The CM added that due to high tide at sea, the drainage of water is slow.
The provincial chief executive said teams and machinery has been deployed and ministers and other senior officials were on the roads to supervise the work.
Murad said the worst affected areas were in district south, which includes DHA, Lyari, Saddar and other cantonment areas.
Karachi has seen an increase in the amount of rainfall it receives per annum over the last few years, with monsoonal anomalies getting more frequent due to climate change
‘Karachi! We stand with you’
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said that the entire nation is worried about the loss of life and property due to the monsoon rains in Karachi.
The federal government, she said, is committed to work with the provincial government and army personnel to transport the victims to safety on an emergency basis as soon as possible. “There is no shortage of relief activities.”
The PML-N stalwart also assured the people of the port city: “Karachi! We stand with you.”