CHI - As many as 10 people were killed as heavy rains lashed the cosmopolitan at midday Saturday, paralysing the routine life, inundating low-lying areas and disrupting smooth flow of traffic.
The Met Office has predicted more rains over the next three days.
Saturdays showers paralysed the routine life, causing problems for those attending offices and school-going children on their way back home. Various neighbourhoods in Karachi were submerged and faced with power breakdown and suspension of telephone service. Long stretches of traffic jams could be seen on important roads and various arteries, which were inundated by rainwater, causing hardships for pedestrians and motorists alike.
Public transport, which had already thinned due to the brewing violence and continuing lawlessness, bore extra burden of anxious commuters, who wanted to return home early, amid forecast of more rains.
As many commuters were seen travelling atop buses, officials of the Traffic Police could not be seen at important points in many areas to ensure smooth flow of traffic and fine violators.
The rain took its toll in Bohra Peer area, where five women were electrocuted in a bid to save each other. Rescue and police sources said the women were from a single family. According to police officials, first Mehak, daughter of Imran, received electric shock and then the rest of the family members, including Aneesa, 30, wife of Majid, Nadia, 25, wife of Imran, Azra, daughter of Parvaiz, and Kizra, daughter of Minhas, were electrocuted. The bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and later handed over to the heirs.
Five more people died due to electrocution in Haroonabad area, on II Chandrigar Road, Model Colony, Pak Colony and New Karachi. Rainwater remained stagnant in many areas of the city, including Saddar, University Road, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Karsaz, Drigh Road, Natha Khan, Karachi airport, Shershah, Baldia Town, Banaras, North Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Jauhar, where many citizens moving to or from work faced problems.
Khurram Khan, a rain-hit citizen, told TheNation that standing water at some points on various roads even touched his knees when he was riding a bike.
He said he witnessed severe traffic chaos on Gulbai Road, adding that he managed to reach his residence in North Karachi area by driving through several footpaths.
As per reports, rainwater and salinity also entered several households in different localities of the city, especially low-lying areas.
Aman Ansari, a resident of Orangi Town, complained that due to overflow dirty water from the drain passing through the area entered some houses.
A large number of vehicles developed faults during and after the heavy rainfall, while several mishaps happened when bikes skidded of roads.
To tackle the situation, about 3,500 employees of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) launched an operation to drain out rainwater from the low-lying areas with the help of over 150 vehicles, said a press release issued on Saturday.
According to the MET Office, Landhi received 52MM rain, Saddar 40MM, the airport area 17.4 MM and Gulistan-e-Jauhar 16MM.