Rain chokes city’s arteries

Hours-long spell wreaks havoc on thoroughfares, beats down on infrastructure

Aftab Khan/Amir Khan/naeem Khanzada September 24, 2021
People are stuck in a traffic jam caused by inundated roads after rain in the city on Thursday. Photo: express


After several days of sweltering under torrid weather conditions, Karachiites were offered a brief respite from the heat as rain lashed the port city on Thursday. The relief was short lived, however, as the moderate to heavy rain spell wreaked havoc on the crumbling infrastructure of Karachi.

Commuters were stranded for hours on end as rain water accumulated on major arteries and low-lying areas. Two spells of heavy showers between noon and 5pm left a major public hospital inundated besides submerging parts of Central District. In other areas, dilapidated roads deteriorated further and cars were swept away by accumulated rain water. Power outages were also reported in different parts of the city.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast more rainfall and thunderstorms today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday). The weather is likely to remain hot and humid today with chances of rainfall in the evening.

Read Four killed as rain beats down city

Inundated roads

Pictures and videos shared on social media showed several areas of the city, especially in Central District, flooded with rain water. Vehicles could be seen submerged up to their wheels, others were swept away by the flow of the water and some reportedly overturned. Fortunately no loss of life was reported in the city but the hours-long rain spell devastated the city’s infrastructure.

Buffer Zone, Shadman and Nagan Chowrangi areas were inundated with rain water. The road leading to Nagan Chowrangi from Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi around Buffer Zone and Nagan was closed. Citizens could be seen wading through the water as vehicles were stranded. The nullah in Shadman Town overflew submerging nearby areas while the road leading to Sakhi Hassan Cemetery was blocked by accumulated rain water.

The Green Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) track from Surjani town to Nagan Chowrangi was completely submerged.

“Left nagan Chowrangi around 7 pm. Its clear now. If u look at the videos, the side from nagan to sakhi hasan was clear but from sakhi hasan to nagan there was water because of green line structure which was stopping the flow of water [sic],” tweeted Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab on Thursday night.

Wahab claimed that North Karachi, North Nazimabad and New Karachi areas flooded because of faults with the Green Line BRT infrastructure which affected drainage of water.

Meanwhile, citizens reaching Abbasi Shaheed Hospital faced extreme difficulties as rain water accumulated in and around the hospital run by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).

Rain water also accumulated on the roads leading toward Teen Hatti from Liaquatabad, Jahangir Road to Gurumandir, Karsaz to Sharae Faisal, FTC to Metroville, PIB Colony to Central Jail and from Tibet Center to Regal Chowk besides inundating Tibet Square, Patel Para, Lasbela Chowk and Denso Hall areas. Logjams were reported in several areas across the city.

Power outages

Over 300 electricity feeders were affected as rain lashed the city. In some areas PMT poles were also damaged and electric wires were broken. The worst-hit was again the Central District, with most areas reporting power failures.

Among other areas, power supply was disrupted in New Karachi Nazimabad, Sakhi Hassan, Federal B Area, Liaquatabad, Saadi Town, PECHS, Saddar, Malir, Keamari, Ahsanabad, Landhi and Malir.

Read Three killed as heavy rains lash Karachi for second day

In a statement issued on the day, a K-Electric spokesperson stated that power supply was ensured to over 1,700 feeders of the power utility’s network. “Some areas were temporarily powered off out of an abundance of caution owing to the prevalence of safety hazards in these areas such as kundas and encroachments of public infrastructure by TV and internet cables.”

Monsoon rain

According to the PMD, the highest amount of rainfall was recorded in Surjani Town at 70 millimetres and the lowest in Keamari at four milimetres.

The PMD had earlier issued an alert predicting rain and thunderstorms in Sindh from September 22 till September 25, saying monsoon currents from a low-pressure system in the Bay of Bengal were expected to penetrate the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2021.


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