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‘Overwhelmed’: No end to flooding woes as rains lash Karachi | Pakistan News



Islamabad, Pakistan – At least 13 people have been killed by urban flooding in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, the country’s largest city and its commercial hub, as torrential monsoon rains have left large parts of the metropolis inundated and without electricity, officials said.

Those killed include people who have drowned in their homes, been crushed under collapsing walls or electrocuted by short-circuiting wires, Dr Seemin Jamali, the executive director of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), told Al Jazeera on Friday.

On Thursday, the city received more than 223mm of rain in a 12-hour period, the country’s meteorological department said, the highest seen in a single day since records began. More than 484mm of rain has fallen in August so far, according to the data, more than 10 times the monthly average.

“The havoc that has happened here from the inclement weather and the urban flooding has overwhelmed everyone,” Dr Jamali told Al Jazeera by telephone. “You would be shocked looking at the streets of Karachi. There is no way you can get out in that water.”

Major roads and infrastructure across the city of 22 million people were flooded under several feet of water, with residents unable to reach hospitals and rescue workers deployed to attempt to save those whose homes had been destroyed.

“There was a lady who was in a wheelchair who drowned in the water from her own house, a 56-year-old lady who couldn’t get out of her own house because she was differently-abled,” said Dr Jamali.

As water levels rose, the city’s electricity utility company shut down power to large parts of the metropolis in order to protect citizens from electrocution from malfunctioning wires or other machinery.

Video footage showed roads and walls being washed away by the force of water in several areas, as the city’s drains and sewage channels overflowed from the volume of water.

Motorists abandoned their cars on major roads and were forced to walk, as many vehicles were washed away by the flooding water.

The collapse of infrastructure also affected landline and cellular telephone networks, which began to fail on Thursday as the volume of use rose, residents say.

Since June, at least 106 people have been killed by monsoon flooding across Pakistan, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority [Muhammad Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu]

Pakistan’s military established an emergency flood control centre in Karachi to assist victims, with medical camps and emergency food rations being distributed. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also set up several such centres.

In a statement, the military said it had distributed more than 10,000 meals and begun work to shore up flood control walls along major water channels.

With the regular transport infrastructure inundated, rescuers were deployed by boat in working-class communities to help deliver the aid. Military helicopters flew overhead to survey the damage.

This year has seen record levels of monsoon rains across South Asia, with massive flooding in Bangladesh and India.

Since June, at least 106 people have been killed by monsoon flooding across Pakistan, according to the NDMA.

More rain is forecast for Friday, with the current weather system due to weaken over the weekend, Pakistan’s meteorological department said.

On Thursday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government would “be announcing a plan for a permanent solution to the problems caused by floods by cleaning of drainage channels, fixing of the sewage system and resolving the huge challenge of water supply to the people of Karachi”.

Several proposals for revamping the city’s decrepit water drainage infrastructure have been made by national and multilateral development organisations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank over the last decade, but none have been taken up by the country’s government so far.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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