Karachi’s miseries continue day after record torrential rains

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Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah headed out on a tour of Karachi on Friday, a day after the city was wrecked by record torrential rains that led to the deaths of at least 19 people.

Major thoroughfares and roads in several parts of the city remain submerged in water and many areas continue to face power outages.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Meteorological Department data showed that as much as 84mm of rain was received in the Gulshan-e-Hadeed area of Karachi between 11am and 2pm on Friday. Other parts of the city received little to no rain.

In an update on the power situation in the city, Karachi Electric said several areas were “inaccessible due to high water levels”.

The company further said that many of its vehicles on their way to areas such as DHA and Surjani, which are among the worst affected areas of the city, remain stranded.

Power was restored in some areas, the company said, adding that its “teams are coordinating with relevant authorities to ensure swift power restoration to other locations”.

“Power will continue to remain closed until all standing water is cleared.”

Disruption in signals of several networks across the city was also reported, leading Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab to clarify that provincial authorities had not restricted the use of mobile phones for today.

“The restriction will only be in selected areas where Muharram processions take place on the 9th & 10th,” he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of cellular company Mobilink (Jazz) said the infrastructure in several areas of the city was damaged from flooding due to which services were disrupted.

The company said technical teams were working to repair infrastructure and that services will be resumed as soon as possible.

Replying to citizens on Twitter, Telenor said that services had been affected due to “maintenance activity” being carried out in the city.

Ufone also said that services had been affected due to the rainfall. “Rest assured our teams are working around the clock to restore services for you, as soon as possible,” the company said.

Will visit Karachi next week, says PM

Later in the day, during a National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan told Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah that he will visit Karachi next week.

“I will sit with you to draw up a complete plan to help Sindh government,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by a statement released by Sindh CM House.

Chief Minister Shah thanked the prime minister for calling him and offering assistance. Shah said that Karachi had faced a “disaster” and added that rains had affected almost the entire Sindh province.

CM chides affected residents for encroachments

Earlier, Chief Minister Shah visited Nursery, Rashid Minhas Road and Yar Mohammad Goth among other areas, where he was briefed about the water drainage situation.

On his visit to Yar Mohammad Goth, the chief minister heard complaints of power outages and other issues being faced by the residents.

Shah also chided the people for “building houses in the belly of the Malir River”.

“The entire city is sinking because of your encroachments,” he said. “You blocked Malir River in the name of Agha Town”.

During his visit to Nursery, residents told Shah that the drainage system was badly affected due to construction on the right side of Sharae Faisal.

The chief minister instructed the managing director of the Water Board to review the city’s master plan and submit a report on the matter. Shah said he wanted to know which of the buildings had affected water drainage in the metropolis.

The CM was told that the drainpipe crossing Rashid Minhas road, which has caved in due to rain, has “contracted” resulting in the flooding of Drigh Road underpass. Officials said the underpass would be cleared of water as soon as it was drained by the pipe.

The chief minister also directed authorities to repair the road in question.

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