KARACHI: Torrential rains on Monday wreaked havoc in the metropolis, bringing the much-feared load-shedding in multiple neighbourhoods despite claims from the sole power supplying company, the K-Electric, that it had made improvements in its system ahead of the forecasted thunderstorm.
At least six people, including a woman and children, died during the rains, rescue officials confirmed. Two of those died as the roof of a house in Ibrahim Hyderi collapsed, while a three-year-old girl died when a wall collapsed in Malir’s Shamsi Society, they said, adding that a woman was electrocuted to death in Liaquatabad, while a child died of electrocution in Mominabad, Orangi Town.
Several others were injured when a pole-mounted transformer (PMT) fell in Ibrahim Hyderi, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) said. One person was injured when a tree fell in Korangi’s Sector 33-D, while a five-year-old was wounded when a wall collapsed in Malir’s Memon Goth.
The monsoon system was said to have been in Karachi’s southeast since the morning and had strengthened due to humidity from the sea, leading to the first rain in Pakistan’s financial capital. Earlier Monday, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) director had noted that thunder cells were observed near Karachi and the rain spell was “strong”.
“Some areas in Karachiare experiencing rain with thunder,” he had said, adding that strong winds and dark clouds were set over Mai Kolachi and Malir and Shahrah-e-Faisal were experiencing heavy rain. The PMD’s top official said wind speeds in the thunderstorm were recorded at 54 kilometres per hour.
According to data provided by the authority, the highest rainfall was recorded in Saddar, at 43 millimetres (mm), while 26 mm was registered at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Faisal Base, 22mm in Nazimabad, 12mm at PAF Masroor Base, 8.8mm at Karacih’s Jinnah International Airport, 3.1mm in Landhi, and 1.2mm in Surjani Town.
As the torrential rain accompanied by a thunderstorm started late afternoon in Karachi, two trees were reported to have been downed near Drigh Road on Shahrah-e-Faisal and the Arts Council of Pakistan, leading to traffic blockage. Despite the PMD’s early forecast, there seemed to be no plan to manage the traffic disruption from related authorities. Limited visibility due to heavy rain disrupted traffic flow at Shahrah-e-Faisal, while rain water stagnated near the Quaidabad Bridge. A major traffic jam was seen at the President House Road, I.I. Chundrigar Road, and near Governor’s House. People returning to their homes were stranded in traffic.