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Rain in Karachi, claims one life but several lives hurt!

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KARACHI: One person was electrocuted and several others were injured when heavy rain with thunderstorm struck different areas of Karachi on Thursday evening following very hot and humid weather in the city, causing unprecedented difficulties for citizens, officials and Pakistan Meteorological Department said.

The intermittent rain continued in different areas of Karachi with some heavy falls till the filing of this report as inundation of various roads and low-lying areas caused massive traffic jams and left large city areas without electricity. Several flights were either cancelled or diverted to other airports due to bad weather in Karachi.

“Under the influence of two monsoon systems, which merged today, heavy rains started in Karachi as well as other areas and cities of southern Sindh. It is still raining at 12:00am in different areas of Karachi and intermittent rain is likely to continue the entire night in Karachi,” Director Met Karachi Abdul Qayyum Bhutto told The News on Thursday night.

Earlier on Thursday morning and afternoon, Karachi practically sizzled when mercury jumped to 39.1 degrees Celsius with 89 percent relative humidity, and according to Met officials, the feel-like temperature was between 45-49 degrees Celsius in different areas of the city. “Following a very hot and humid weather, light rainfall started at around 3:30pm and the heavy showers followed in the evening,” Director Met Karachi said. The rains under the powerful monsoon system are likely to continue till Saturday evening, he added.

Shahrah-e-Faisal received the heaviest amount of rainfall till 8:00pm where 56 millimeters of rain was recorded, followed by 46mm of rain in Saddar, 38.2mm in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, 37.5mm of rain was recorded at Pehalwan Goth, 27mm at Landhi, 15mm at PAF Masroor Base, 10mm at Jinnah Terminal, 12.5mm at Keamari and 10.5mm at North Karachi.

Several flights were either delayed or cancelled from the Karachi International Airport due to the heavy rains, the Civil Aviation Authority and the airlines said, adding that some flights coming to Karachi from Islamabad and Lahore were directed to return or land at other airports including Multan.

At least one person died due to electrocution while several others were injured as several billboards, trees and poles uprooted in various areas of the city due to gusty winds, police and rescue services said. The Gulistan-e-Jauhar police said a young man, who was identified as Salahuddin was electrocuted in Raheel Arcade in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Separately, another young man identified as Anwar suffered head injuries when a billboard fell down on him near the Avari Hotel. He was shifted to the JPMC, where doctors termed his condition as stable. Similarly, there were reports of several injuries due to collapsing walls, traffic accidents and uprooting of trees and poles from Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Saddar, Shahrah-e-Faisal and Gulshan-e-Hadeed areas. All were shifted to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Once again, heavy traffic jams were witnessed at several roads in the city following the start of rain, including Shahrah-e-Faisal, University Road, Nishtar Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Rashid Minhas Road, and till the filing of this report, hundreds of people were stuck on various roads flooded with rainwater. The worst traffic jam was witnessed on Shahrah-e-Faisal, on the track leading to Karachi airport from Saddar as thousands of motorists tried to reach homes before it was too late. But the accumulation of rainwater at different places and heavy flow of vehicles caused massive gridlock which could not be cleared till the filing of this report. “I remained trapped in traffic near Nursery for the last several hours as the road was inundated with rainwater and there was nobody to help us out, neither the traffic police, nor the Rangers or anybody from the KMC or provincial government,” said Mumtaz, a banker with his office at the I.I Chundrigar Road.

People and motorists were also found stranded on different roads including the University Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Nazimabad and North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Clifton, Korangi and the old city areas, where dozens of vehicles including motorbikes broke down and people were observed dragging them in knee deep water.

Power outages and breakdowns continued well before the start of the rain in different areas of Karachi on Thursday but following the rain, large city areas were deprived of power by the K-Electric, people and power utility said and several city areas were still without electricity till filing of this report.

People from different areas of the city including Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Saadi Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Federal B. Area, North Karachi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Manghopir and Orangi Town reported hours-long power outages in their areas, saying power utility had deprived them of electricity well before the start of rain.

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Sobia Umair

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