At least eight people were killed and several others injured in the monsoon rain in Karachi on Monday July 6th. Alongside these casualties, the rain caused prolonged power breakdowns, overflowing drains and jammed roads with bumper-to-bumper traffic.
This monsoon rain was not unexpected for Karachi with many forecasts predicting that this was about to come. However, it appears as though authorities failed to take appropriate steps to address the problems.
With barely an hour of rainfall, the fragility of the city was exposed as nearly the entire city was swept into chaos. Strong dusty winds hit the city at 60 kilometres per hour before the downpour began. The rain continued for about 30 minutes to an hour in areas including Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Landhi, Bin Qasim, Malir, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Clifton, Defence Housing Authority, Qayumabad, Bahadurabad, Korangi, University Road, Nazimabad, Shah Faisal Colony and Saddar.
As soon as the rain started, power outages began throughout Karachi. Electricity went out for several hours, with many localities facing power outages for over 10 hours. There were many complaints from customers complaining KE’s incompetency in handling any rain. KE spokespersons claimed that the power supply was suspended as a precautionary measure, to avoid any loss of life due to electrocution amid the downpour.
Flooded roads soon followed as many of Karachi’s major roads were jammed. Gridlocks quickly emerged at Sharae Faisal, Tipu Sultan Road, Karsaz, Tower, II Chundrigar Road, Five Star Chowrangi, Main Korangi Road, Expressway, Hyderi and Boat Basin, among other areas.
There were also several cases of structural collapse with some resulting in death and serious injuries. Three men died when the roof of a house collapsed in Baloch Para due to heavy rainfall. Four children were injured in a similar accident in Ibrahim Hyderi. There were also several motorbike accidents caused due to slippery roads.
On the positive side, this monsoon has helped bring the temperature, which had soared past 40 degrees Celsius, down 29 degrees Celsius. However, more spells of rain are still expected during the monsoon season, which will extend until September.