A short lasting torrential downpour accompanied by gusty winds with speed measured at 40 miles, which lasted for some minutes, triggered a blackout in Hyderabad and many other districts of Sindh on Wednesday night. A maximum of five millimetres of rain was recorded at the airport in Hyderabad and only 1mm in the city.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department recorded 6mm in parts of Benazirabad, 4mm in parts of Tharparkar and 3mm in Thatta. According to the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), some 45 electric poles supplying power from the 11kV electric feeders, fell during the brief spell of rain and strong winds.
As many as 16 of them fell in Hyderabad district alone where power supply in the affected areas was restored late on Thursday afternoon. Six poles fell in the new fort and Cantt feeders, seven in the old fort and three in L-7. Another 29 poles fell in different areas of Tharparkar, Umerkot, Thatta, Jamshoro, Badin, Mirpurkhas Tando Muhammad Khan, Matiari and Sanghar districts.
On Wednesday night, HESCO spokesperson Sadiq Kubar informed that the power supply to 141 feeders has been suspended. Three hours later the spokesperson updated that the supply to 36 of the affected feeders had been restored while 105 were still off. The restoration work continued past midnight well into the afternoon as rain lashed several districts of the province on Thursday, with widespread complaints of power outages.
Lack of preparation
Although the rainwater did not submerge even low-lying areas in Hyderabad, except for potholes and depression spots on the roads, a lack of preparedness of the Water and Sanitation Agency in some areas was exposed. Hyderabad Deputy Commissioner Fuad Ghaffar Soomro during his visit to areas of Latifabad noticed that some heavy water pumps in the areas like Latifabad unit 2 and Mehar Ali housing society, which always get inundated during heavy rains, were not functional. Often Pakistan army's soldiers are called to rescue people in these areas.
The pumps, worth millions of rupees, were provided by the district administration to WASA so that immediate draining of the rainwater can be ensured in the localities which become flooded. At Mehar Ali Housing Society, although the pump has been placed on a cemented structure, it has neither been provided an electric connection nor the walls and a roof has been constructed to cover the pump.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2021.
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