At least four people were killed on Thursday as scattered showers beat down the metropolis. The thunderstorm and rainfall, which began late on Wednesday night, continued intermittently on Thursday. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast another spell of moderate to heavy showers today (Friday) in Karachi and parts of Sindh.
A woman and her three children were crushed to death in the night between Wednesday and Thursday when rainwater from a nearby hill flooded MPR Colony, causing a wall of the housing society to collapse.
The deceased, identified as Syeda Khawa, 28, wife of Rasool Saeed, and their children, nine-year-old Naseeb, seven-year-old Mubina, and five-year-old Bashir, were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Saeed said that him and his family were asleep in their house on Wednesday night, when at around 3am rainwater flooded his house bringing the debri of the collapsed wall with it. The rubble from the collapsed wall buried his wife and children alive, he said. His own life was saved only by the severe pressure of the floodwater, which swept him out into the street, added Saeed.
He said that him and his neighbours tried to rescue his family from under the rubble but could not as rain continued to lash. Rescue workers arrived roughly four hours later, he said, at about 7.30am after being notified and retrieved the deceased.
Saeed and his neighbours accused the administration of the housing society of negligence. They claimed that the wall was constructed using substandard material. Only cement blocks were used and there were no pillars or iron rods to support the structure, they lamented, maintaining that the boundary of the society was crumbling at several places but the administration made no efforts to restore it. They also pointed out the lack of drainage facilities for rainwater in the housing society.
An FIR was lodged at Orangi Town Police Station on Thursday against nominated suspects on the complainant, Muhammad Arif, Saeed’s father. The police are probing the matter further.
Meanwhile, the deceased were laid to rest in Ghazi Goth Cemetery. “Due to the negligence and carelessness of some, my daughter-in-law and grandchildren lost their lives,” said Arif.
The intermittent rain preceding by scattered storms last week has wreaked havoc in different low-lying areas of the city. The roads and thoroughfares of the metropolis, especially those riddled with potholes, have also taken a hit.
Already dilapidated infrastructure in SITE Industrial Area crumbled further during the recent rainspell. New potholes and depressions formed on the roads in the area as rain lashed on Thursday. Rainwater accumulated in some of them while overflowing sewer lines spilled waste and garbage onto the streets.
Cargo vehicles and other heavy traffic were stuck on the muddy roads during the rainfall. Owners and workers of factories in the area also complained of difficulties in reaching their offices besides damage to machinery, goods and raw material.
SITE Association Chairperson Abdul Hadi bemoaned that the area accounts for 18 per cent of the country’s total exports, is the highest tax-paying area in the province and employs about 700,000 people but is neglected by both the Sindh and federal governments.
Commuters and residents in other parts of the city faced similar difficulties as rain water accumulated in low-lying areas and deteriorated roads and thoroughfares.
In its latest advisory, the PMD has predicted more rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and gusts of wind in Karachi and other parts of the province today. The current low-pressure system is expected to end today.
By Thursday evening the maximum amount of rainfall recorded in the city was in Surjani Town at 64 millimetres and the lowest was in Defence Housing Authority Phase-II at 2.7mm.
Meanwhile, the PMD installed another rain metre, bringing the number of rain observatories in the city to 15. The new metre was installed in Gulshan-e-Maymar.
*With additional input by Munawar Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2021.
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