The Met office had forecast a heavy spell of rain in Karachi and other cities and regions of Sindh before and during Eid. But the authorities seem to have been caught unawares as their response to the havoc caused by the rains shows. Karachi, Hyderabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas and several other places in the province received heavy rains on Saturday and Sunday. Soon most of the roads in Karachi and Hyderabad had been under deep water. This left vehicles and people stranded on roads and wherever they had been when the downpour became intense. The first spell of rain early on Saturday left the roads leading to the airport under knee-deep water. In many parts of Karachi and Hyderabad, rainwater was still standing on roads. Saturday night presented the scene of urban flooding in many areas of Karachi. Obviously, this was the result of the absence of a proper drainage system in Karachi and other cities of Sindh. In Karachi, during the two days 11 people died in rain-related incidents. Nine of the deaths occurred due to electrocution. There are reports of floods in Badin town and the district.
Many electrocution deaths have occurred during rains in Karachi over the past five years. What happened in the aftermath of rains was wholly expected as most stormwater drains are choked. On Monday, many cattle had been slaughtered and the offal been left scattered at roadsides. The administrative machinery was seen in action at several places, but the work of offal removal was slow.
The whole thing was also a consequence of climate change. In 2018, Karachi did not receive rain. This year it has so far received two spells of heavy rains. Climate change has to be combated by all countries of the world. In spite of witnessing devastating effects of climate change, we have powerful people around who deny this fact. Sarah Palin, a US politician, says she loves the smell of greenhouse gases. The Indian PM says climate change can be successfully combated through yoga. This is absurdity and insanity!
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2019.