Rain emergency in Sindh, Gwadar declared disaster zone

250 houses damaged, 21 injured in rain related incidents in Balochistan

KARACHI/QUETTA  -  The Sindh government on Thursday declared half working day on March 1 (today) in Ka­rachi division due to rain emergency. 

All the offices, au­tonomous, semi-auton­omous bodies, corpora­tions and local councils in Karachi except those engaged in essential services and involved in rain emergencies duties would observe working hours till 2:00 pm, said a notification issued here by Services, General Administration and Co­ordination Department. The notification would be applicable to the private sector organiza­tions as well, it added.

Also, the Balochistan caretaker government on Thursday imposed an emergency in Gwa­dar and declared it a disaster zone after heavy rains triggered dev­astating flash floods in the coastal city.

In a statement, Baloch­istan caretaker Information Jan Achakzai said the pro­vincial government had de­cided to declare Gwadar ca­lamity-hit and impose an emergency, acknowledging the severity of the situation.

According to Achakzai, caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Ali Mardan Khan Domki has already signed a summary for this purpose and a notification will be is­sued soon. He added that the interim CM would per­sonally monitor relief activ­ities in all the rain-hit areas of the province.

Following the devastating flash floods in Gwadar, trig­gered by heavy rainfall that lashed the area for several hours and left thousands of residents homeless as well as in dire need of assistance as the downpour caused widespread destruction, Haq Do Tehreek Balochistan (HDTB) chief Maulana Hi­dayatur Rehman, who won the election for PB-24, on Thursday reached the coast­al city -- where his constitu­ency was located -- to coor­dinate rescue operations.

Necessary arrangements in Karachi

Mayor Karachi Barrister Murtaza Wahab Thursday said that necessary arrange­ments had been made re­garding the expected rains in the city and decisions had been made regarding clear­ing choking points in the drains. 

All concerned staff would be present on the roads during the rains, KMC, Sindh Solid Waste Management Board and Water Corpora­tion had made a strategy for the expected rains, he said this in a video message. 

Barrister Murtaza Wa­hab said that there was no such example in the past that such rains were expect­ed in the month of March in Karachi. This is the effect of climate change that is be­ing talked about all over the world.

He said that the leaves of the relevant officers and other staff in KMC and oth­er related institutions had been canceled and all the officers and staff would re­main on the ground.

“InshAllah, we are trying our best to minimize the problems of the people and wherever there is a prob­lem, immediate action will be taken to provide relief to the people, we all making every effort so that urban life is not affected during rains,” he said.

Meanwhile The National Disaster Management Au­thority (NDMA) on Thurs­day said that approximately 60% of dewatering of flood­water in Gwadar had been completed. 

Some 250 houses were reportedly damaged so far, while 21 individuals were injured due to flood and wall collapses, and under treat­ment at medical centres, an NDMA news release said.

The residents of damaged houses had been shifted to rescue centres.

Some 200,000 water puri­fication tabs were distribut­ed in Gwadar and Turbat by the Health Department Ba­lochistan, whereas the re­sponse of Provincial Disas­ter Management Authority and District Administration of Gwadar was also appre­ciable, the NDMA said. 

It added that another spell of rain was expect­ed in southern region of Balochistan from tonight (Thursday night), which might hamper the res­cue efforts. “The NDMA is closely monitoring on ground situation and en­suring smooth coordina­tion of rescue efforts be­tween departments at provincial and national lev­els,” the news release said.

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