• At least five dead as rain batters Karachi, showers across country today

    At least five dead as rain batters Karachi File photo At least five dead as rain batters Karachi

    At least five people were killed due to electrocution as the metropolis was battered with heavy rainfall on Thursday after initial light showers a day before.

    Heavy rainfall started late Wednesday night, resulting in disruption of power supply to many areas of the city.

    Reports of rainfall were received from Saddar, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Airport, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Malir and other areas. The highest amount oif rainfall was recorded at 67mm in Nazimabad.

    Heavy rainfall is expected to lash the metropolis until Friday. The downpour, and subsequent inundation of major roads and streets, resulted in low attendance in offices and led private schools to announce a holiday today late Wednesday night.

    Similarly, the Sindh education department too made a late announcement of schools' closure across the province.

    Moreover, Hub, Badin, Mirpurkhas and other areas of Sindh also received rain whereas forecasts predict light to heavy showers across Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well.

    The low-pressure system moving in from the South East is expected to bring over 40mm of rainfall coupled with winds as high as 60 kilometres per hour, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

    According to the PMD, the weather system is going to affect the country's southern region until Friday after which the focus will shift to the northern region and will continue until Sunday.

    Precautionary measures

    The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh has also issued multiple warnings directing all land departments to take 'precautionary measures' to avoid any untoward situation and make sure the response mechanism is adopted.

    Director General PDMA Sindh Salman Shah said that if the metropolis witnesses up to 40 millimetres of rainfall it would not create problems. He added that while urban flooding will take place the water will flow out within 2-4 hours.

    "We have already deployed 50 dewatering machines to KMC and different DMCs" to ensure timely dewatering of areas where urban flooding is likely to create problems for citizens.

    When asked if any warnings or precautionary notes had been issued to the public at large, Shah said, "since Karachi does not witness much rainfall citizens tend to come out onto the streets, I would advise people to stay indoors during heavy rainfall because it can be very dangerous."

    He added that in low lying areas and informal settlements, certain buildings had been identified where affectees will be housed incase the weather becomes extreme. The temporary shelters will be managed by the DMCs, Shah told.

    Since most of Karachi's woes emanate not from the actual rain but a lack of proper drainage. Shah confirmed that the PDMA held a meeting with the stakeholders and directed KMC and DMCs to ensure main drains of the city were cleaned ahead of time.

    However, since the PDMA is not responsible for overseeing the coordination and progress of KMC and DMCs its role stopped after providing the required equipment, Shah concluded.

    The commissioner Karachi is out of the country for pilgrimage. The spokesperson confirmed that all district commissioners had been directed to stay in close contact with all relevant departments to ensure timely dewatering of areas as well as the creation of a Commissioner's complaint cell.

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