KARACHI: Heavy rains hit parts of Pakistan for a fifth straight night, bringing more flooding to the financial capital Karachi and towns and villages and leaving at least 63 people dead, officials said Friday. Rescuers evacuated people from flooded neighborhoods.
About 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain have fallen in Karachi since Sunday, when monsoon rains began lashing the coastal city, forcing authorities to use boats to evacuate people trapped in flooded streets.
Forty-seven people were killed this week in Karachi in rain-related incidents, according to Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of southern Sindh province. He said authorities were working day and night to help rain-affected people in the city and elsewhere in Sindh, where Karachi is the provincial capital.
At least 16 people were killed in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because of flash flooding overnight, said Taimur Ali, a spokesman for the disaster management agency in the northwest.
Downed power lines caused widespread electrical outages in Karachi, adding misery to the lives of many of the 15 million residents in Pakistan’s largest city. Some workers stayed at their offices and others spent the night in open areas because there was no transportation to get home in many parts of the city.
Hundreds of vehicles were dragged along city streets by powerful flood waters.
The military said it provided food to at least 10,000 people and dozens of relief camps were set up for residents. Troops also repaired embankments of a swollen canal by which floodwaters entered the city.
Eight of those killed in Karachi died when a wall fell on them in a residential area. They included children, who were playing at the time. Other casualties were reported in various parts of Sindh in the past 24 hours. More than 150 people have died in various parts of Pakistan since June in rain-related incidents and many residents were angry with authorities for not helping them.
Monsoon rains are hitting Pakistan at a time when authorities are trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has caused more than 6,283 deaths since February. Pakistan reported nine more deaths Friday from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Every year, many cities in Pakistan struggle to cope with the annual monsoon deluge, drawing criticism about poor planning. The monsoon season runs from July through September.