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Monsoon rains wreaked havoc on the ill-maintained electricity and sewerage systems in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, leaving at least eight more people dead on Tuesday, officials and rescue services said.

Media reports said:

Most of the victims died due to electrocution, taking the death toll since the rain began on Monday morning in Karachi to 17.

At least seven other people died in other parts of Sindh province due to rain-related incidents since the downpour started.

On Tuesday, at least six people sustained injuries in wall- and roof-collapse incidents in Jodia Bazaar and Gulshan-e-Maymar areas.

Lifeguards rescued three children who had fallen into the Lyari River at Teen Hatti.

The accumulation of rainwater blocked one track of the Karachi-Hyderabad M9 Motorway.

Power outage

As residents of some neighborhoods complained that they had been facing power outages for more than 24 hours, a K-Electric spokesperson, Noor Afshan, told DawnNewsTV that the company had suspended power supply to feeders of some areas as a “precautionary measure”. These areas included Naurus Chowrangi, Habib Bank Chowrangi, Super Auto Market, Super Highway and Pipri.

She said the rain experienced by Karachi was “unprecedented” and so the utility was forced to take safety measures.

Afshan said a major reason behind deaths caused by electrocution was the use of kunda connections. She maintained that power supply to most areas of the city had been restored.

A large number of neighborhoods in Karachi remained submerged in darkness on Tuesday night — day 2 of the first spell of monsoon rain, which had hit the city a day earlier.

According to a survey on social media by Dawn.com, these included, but were not limited to, North Karachi, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad No 4, Malir Halt, Federal B Area, Gulistan-e-Johar, Defence Phases 1, 5, 6, 8, and Clifton Block 5, 6 and 7.

Some respondents from North Karachi said that electricity had been restored after a period of 36 hours, whereas others at the time this report was filed were not as lucky and were still enduring a power outage.

Those residing in North Nazimabad reported a similarly long outage, ranging from 36-40 hours and continuing in some pockets.

One Facebook user from Defence Phase 1 said the entire area had been “in the dark [for] over 30hrs”. A Defence Phase 5 resident said it had been “almost 28 hours” since power was shut down.

Clifton residents reported being without electricity for 12-48 hours, with one from block 6 complaining of “very low voltage” since 1am last night.

Dam overflowed

According to K-Electric, owing to an overflow of Lath Dam, a critical situation was being faced at the KDA grid.

“Monsoon downpour has caused Lath Dam near Super Highway to overflow. The floodwater has entered K-Electric’s KDA Grid station, located at Gulzar-e-Hijri Scheme 33, one of the most critical grids of KE’s 220kV grid and an interconnection point between KE and NTDC,” said a statement by the power provider on Facebook.

“As an emergency safety measure we are forced to suspend supply to feeders associated with this grid. This has affected power supply to parts of Sohrab Goth, Abulhassan Isphahani Road, Super Highway, KWSB’s NEK Pumping station among few others,” the statement continued.

“We are working closely with all authorities to control this situation. All possible resources including trenches, water pumps and sand bags around the grid have been deployed to block the water.”

K-Electric warned that if water level continued to rise it would be “forced to completely shut down power from this grid to ensure the safety of our people and equipment”.

Resultantly, power supply will be affected to several areas including Gulshan, Azizabad, Liaqatabad, Malir, FB Area, Surjani, Shadman, Johar, Shah Faisal among many others, it added.

Hyderabad’s power troubles

In Hyderabad, power supply started being restored gradually on Tuesday after outages of over 30 hours. Rainwater continued to accumulate on main roads and low-lying areas and Hyderabad city, Latifabad and Qasimabad faced water shortage due to non-supply of water.

Power supply remained suspended to the 30MGD and 10MGD water reservoirs of the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA). The agency’s Thandi Sarak reservoir, which ensures the distribution of water to large parts of the city, also remained without electricity.

In a midnight visit to Hyderabad that lasted for around two hours, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah reviewed the post-rain situation by visiting the Tulsi Das pumping station, Railway Station area, Latifabad unit 11 and Qasimabad.

He expressed displeasure over the power breakdown.

The chief minister asked Hyderabad Electric Supply Company CEO Abdul Haq Memon to sit in the commissioner’s office until power supply was fully restored to pumping stations and water supply facilities.

Heavy rains started in Hyderabad again on Tuesday evening, with power outages also resuming.


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