At least 18 people have died in floods that hit Pakistan's Karachi since Tuesday, and heavy rainfall inundated main roads and paralysed business activities in the country's financial hub.
Pakistan's meteorological office said that the rainfall in August had broken a 90-year-old record. "The monsoon rainfall has been prolonged and abnormal this year and this pattern will continue for a few more days," PTI quoted a spokesman for the Met office as saying.
Incessant rains in Karachi since early morning on Thursday left daily life and business activities paralysed in the metropolitan city as people found themselves stuck on flooded roads and struggled to reach the safety of their homes.
Videos posted on social media and footage on television channels painted a grim picture of a major collapse of the civic structure in Karachi, with rain water even entering homes in some areas while most main roads remained flooded and closed for traffic.
Karachi Rains pic.twitter.com/QcIDltaQRJ
" Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) August 27, 2020
" Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) August 27, 2020
" Muhammad Junaid (@junaidmuhammadd) August 27, 2020
Bahria Town, Karachi This place is located near boundary wall of Btk (20 km inside the main gate). pic.twitter.com/1H5Yqm18rW
" Siasat.pk (@siasatpk) August 27, 2020
This can't be any more Karachi even if he tried pic.twitter.com/o86KwOOgIB
" Alia Chughtai (@AliaChughtai) August 27, 2020
Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Suhail Rajput urged people not to leave their homes.
Instances of heavy rain and severe flooding across Karachi have led to power outages with the Karachi Electric also tweeting that people should be prepared for long power breakdowns.
Since Tuesday, when the monsoon rainfall began at intervals, rescue and police officials said around 18 people had died from rain-related incident.
A top rescue official said at least 50 people had died in Karachi from rain-related incidents since the monsoon season began in the city in July.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that heavy rainfall had caused a "disastrous situation" in Karachi. He has instructed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority to provide food, water and other essential items, PTI reported.
Vehicles could be seen submerged as rain continued to lash the city and even the heavy containers in the Saddar area which have been brought in by the law enforcement agencies for the Muharram processions were seen floating around on the heavy flooded roads.
Reuters reported that Karachi authorities were making efforts to settle displaced families into school buildings, while the military conducted rescue operations.
Pakistan's chief meteorological officer, Sardar Sarfaraz was quoted by the report as saying that around 484 milimetres (19 inches) of rain had fallen this month, 130 milimetres of rain were received on Thursday alone.
With inputs from agencies