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At least 6 killed as monsoon rains continue to lash Karachi; parts of city submerged

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At least six people have been killed in Karachi as monsoon rains continued to lash the city on Thursday, Edhi officials told Dawn.

Commuters faced difficulties reaching offices while majority of schools remained closed as the rain, which started late Wednesday night, flooded roads of the metropolis.

Many areas in the city — including North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Orangi, Malir, Drigh Road, and NIPA — are submerged because of the heavy rains while some bridges have turned into virtual swimming pools. Most rain in the city has been recorded in North Karachi at 97 millimeters, DawnNews reported.

Gujjar Nala area, where the city government launched an operation to remove illegal construction last year, is also submerged in water, according to DawnNews.

Torrential monsoon rains lashing the city since Wednesday evening are expected to continue for three days in various parts of Sindh, according to the Met Department.

Earlier on Monday, Mayor Wasim Akhtar had directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s staff to remain alert and ready with all required equipment and machinery to tackle heavy rains.

He had announced that in case of any emergency, people could call the KMC’s rain emergency centres on these numbers: 0332-2685090, 0335-7553976 and 1339 .

Windstorms and rains are expected to lash scattered places in Sindh (Sukkur, Larkana and Shaheed Benazir-abad, etc) and Punjab (Lahore, Gujran­wala, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawal­pur and Dera Ghazi Khan, etc), besides parts of Balochistan and upper parts of the country — Hazara, Pesha­war, Malakand and Sargodha divisions, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

Following days-long downpours in neighboring India that especially caused havoc in Mumbai, a well-marked low pressure system in the neighbouring country sent out very strong moisture currents which generated widespread rain in lower Sindh, scattered areas of Punjab and upper parts of the country on Wednesday.

The Sindh government had issued a weather warning on Tuesday, anticipating heavy rains, in which it directed all district disaster management authorities, commissioners and deputy commissioners to ensure that all precautionary measures are taken to avoid any untoward situation as well adopt an effective response mechanism, including issuing an early warning for flash floods.

The direction, through a “most urgent” letter, was issued in connection with a weather warning issued by the Met Department.

Children use an inflatable raft in an inundated street of Karachi.— Photo: Halaat Updates/Farrukh Don

“A strong monsoon weather system from India is heading towards Sindh and is likely to enter south-east Sindh on Tuesday evening. Under its influence rain/thundershowers with a number of moderate to heavy and few very heavy falls with strong gusty winds may occur Sindh particularly in lower divisions in Sindh, including Karachi from August 30 to September 1. Heavy falls may generate urban flooding in vulnerable areas of lower Sindh,” read the warning.

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