ISLAMABAD: The deadly downpour that lashed Karachi and adjoining areas over the past few days were likely to end by Friday night or Saturday morning, weathermen said on Friday.
And in the wake of urban flooding in the low-lying areas, health experts have warned of possible outbreak of various diseases in the metropolis if timely preventive measures were not adopted.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the strong monsoon currents that penetrated southern parts of the country earlier this week have almost ended, but light to moderate monsoon currents are still prevailing over northern parts of the country and likely to persist for two to three days.
Chief Meteorologist Imran Siddiqi told The Express Tribune that most parts of the country would continue to experience hot and humid weather, but isolated rains accompanied by gusty winds and thunderstorm were expected in northern reaches of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir during the Eidul Azha holidays.
He said that weather was likely to remain partially cloudy on Saturday morning and there were chances of light rains in scattered areas of Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sargodha, Gujaranwala, Faisalabad, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hazara and adjourning areas.
Siddiqi said the rains were likely to intensify by Saturday evening and Sunday and there were chances of moderate to heavy isolated showers accompanied by gusty winds and thunderstorm in Mirpurkhas, Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, upper reaches of FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
The rains, according to the Met official, are likely to discontinue by Friday night in lower Sindh, including Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Karachi divisions and weather will remain dry. “During Eid holidays, temperatures in lower Sindh will remain between 30 and 32 degrees centigrade and weather will remain pleasant,” he predicted.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), monsoon rains claimed more than 140 lives across Pakistan.
A senior official of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination fears outbreaks of water-borne diseases in Karachi in the wake of the heavy rains.
“The situation is expected to worsen during the Eid holidays when sacrificial animals will be slaughtered,” he opined.
Pointing out that various areas in the city are facing urban flooding, he said there was a possibility that rain water was already mixed with sewerage effluent. “This may result in outbreaks of water-borne diseases in Karachi such as gastroenteritis, cholera, hepatitis, skin/ eye allergies, typhoid,” he said.
The health ministry official also warned that snake bite incidents might occur as well. “Just to avoid any untoward situation, the Karachi administration must take precautionary measures and ensure the supply of clean water in areas facing contamination issues,” he said.