A girl carries a tea kettle as she wades through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on Wedneday. AFP
Pakistan’s military said on Wednesday it will deploy rescue helicopters to Karachi to transport some 200 families to safety after canal waters flooded the city amid monsoon rains, displacing scores of people.
Rescuers could not use boats to reach the marooned families because of fast-moving floodwaters in the city's low-lying neighborhoods and the military said helicopters would fly when the weather was clear.
According to local media, the Met Office has confirmed that the 90-year record of the monsoon downpour was broken after yesterday’s rainfall in Karachi in August this year.
Men push an oil tanker through a flooded road during monsoon rain in Karachi. Reuters
The 90-year record was broken after a 345mm downpour was recorded at Karachi’s PAF Faisal Base in August this year, making it the wettest month since 1931, which was previously recorded rainfall up to 298.4mm in 1984.
Although rains have lashed many parts of Pakistan, the southern port city of Karachi, located near the Arabian sea, has been the hardest-hit. Streets were flooded on Tuesday with sewage water. Sewage and drainage systems in the city are outdated.
A resident holds a rope as he wades through a flooded residential area in Karachi. AFP
There were no immediate reports of casualties on Wednesday, but 90 people have died in rain-related incidents across Pakistan since Sunday, the country’s national disaster management agency said.
Video footage showed parts of the city under water as troops tried to repair an embankment of a canal. Water started pouring out of the canal Tuesday amid heavy rains, inundating nearby areas.
Residents hold a rope to cross a flooded residential area in Karachi. AFP
On Wednesday, some families displaced by the rain said the muddy water was waist-deep when they left houses carrying small bags with essential items. Although volunteers and troops were able to reach several rain-hit areas with food, people in affected areas complained they were still waiting for help.
"You can see water is everywhere and muddy water has also entered my home and we have not received government help," said Manzoor Ali, a resident in Karachi's rain-hit neighborhood Dur Mohammad Goth. He said water damaged their household items.
An army officer distributes food to flood-affected residents in Karachi. AFP
The rains were expected to continue the rest of the week in Karachi, where Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month sent troops to help local authorities pump out rainwater from residential areas.
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.Agencies
Authorities said the deaths occurred largely due to electrocutions caused by ill-maintained power lines even as large segments of the city suffered hours-long outages that lasted up to a day in some areas.
The heavy rainfall began on Monday and continued on Tuesday and sewage flooded most of the streets in Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province.
Torrential rains, which was recorded as high as 192 mm per hour, caused urban flooding by inundating low-lying areas and main thoroughfares in the city, trapping people inside their houses and disrupting road and railway traffic, local Samaa TV reported.
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