KARACHI: Various areas of the city received rain — some nine millimetres in Saddar — on Tuesday afternoon, said a Meteorological department official, adding that two- to three-day rain and thundershowers were expected to hit the metropolis on Wednesday.
The Met department advised fishermen not to venture out in the deep sea till Sept 2. It also advised the departments concerned to remain vigilant.
Traffic jams were witnessed on almost all major thoroughfares — including M.A. Jinnah Road, Sharea Faisal, University Road etc — of the city as many people in the markets and offices following the afternoon rain tried to rush back to their homes. The congestion, however, relaxed in the late hours of the evening.
Met official said that Tuesday’s rain was just the side effect of the monsoon weather system coming from India, which was due to enter south-eastern parts of Pakistan on late Tuesday night and the actual rains owing to that system were expected to begin on Wednesday and could continue for a couple of days.
He said the Indian port city of Mumbai that had been receiving a battering from the downpour had received over 100mm — about six inches — of rain since Tuesday morning.
He said the Mumbai rain was also caused by the same weather system that was coming from the Indian states of Gujarat to Maharashtra, but the intensity of the rain here might not be as strong as that of the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
A weather warning issued by the Met department on Tuesday evening said that a strong monsoon system from India was heading towards Sindh and was likely to enter south-east Sindh on late Tuesday. Under its influence widespread rains/thundershowers with a number of moderate to heavy and a few very heavy falls with strong gusty winds might occur in lower divisions of the province, including Karachi, and at scattered places in upper divisions of Sindh from Wednesday to Friday.
Heavy rainfall might generate urban flooding in vulnerable areas in lower Sindh, said the warning.
All authorities concerned had also been advised to take precautionary measure during this period, the weather warning added.
The weatherman said that Saddar in the city received 9mm of rain on Tuesday afternoon while PAF Base Masroor received 3.5mm. He said that though reports were pouring in from different parts of the city concerning rainfall, measurement/amount of the rain was not available till late in the evening.
He said the minimum temperature recorded in the city on Tuesday was 27.5 degrees Celsius and the maximum was 40.5 degrees Celsius. He said humidity — amount of moisture in the atmosphere — was 56 per cent in the morning and 78pc in the evening.
He said the weather in the city on Wednesday was expected to remain cloudy with chances of thundershowers with gusty winds and the maximum temperature was expected to remain between 36 and 38 degrees Celsius.
Rain emergency declared.
Karachi Water and Sewerage Board chief Hashim Zaidi declared a rain emergency and cancelled leaves of its relevant staff. Additional power generators with fuel had been made available to the staff to supply electricity to the pumping stations in case of power failures sparked by the expected heavy rains.
He said the staff had been directed that in case of rain they should rush to the spots/and main thoroughfares where traditionally rainwater accumulated so that it could be drained out and people did not face any hardship.
Mayor Wasim Akhtar, presiding over a meeting after Tuesday’s rain, again directed the staff concerned to remain vigilant and instantly respond to complaints and along with equipment reach the spots where reports of accumulated rainwater were received to drain it immediately.
He also urged the people to approach the KMC’s rain emergency centres on telephone numbers: 0332 2685090; 0335 7553976 and also on 1339 to register their complaints.