Dust storm wreaks havoc in Karachi, three die, 36 injured

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Staff Report

Karachi

At least five people died and 36 others were injured on Monday as parts of Karachi and its surrounding areas were besieged by gusty winds accompanied by a dust storm and light rain.

The blustery winds have uprooted electricity poles and trees in different parts of the megalopolis, causing traffic blockages, Radio Pakistan reported. Work is ongoing to clear streets for traffic.

According to Rescue 1122 sources, a five-year-old girl was killed when the roof of a house in Haji Ibrahim goth collapsed. Another child was killed near Peoples Chowrangi near Mazar-i-Quaid when a tree fell.

Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) head Dr Seemi Jamali said that 36 people had been brought to the hospital with different injuries, one of whom had passed away last night.

Roof collapses have been reported in a madressah in Lyari’s Chakiwara, a house in Surjani Town, and two schools. Additionally, a tree fell on a van transporting prisoners near the old City Courts lockup. Rescue teams have been dispatched to the affected areas.

Multiple traffic accidents along the Karachi-Quetta highway resulted in the deaths of three people, while many others were injured.

A police mobile, five passenger buses and a truck all flipped over due to the strong winds. All the passenger buses were travelling from Quetta to Karachi.

Police, Levies and Edhi volunteers helped shift the injured to a nearby hospital where they were provided immediate first aid and then referred to Karachi for further treatment.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed all divisional commissioners to take care of the vulnerable residents of the city. He asked those who lived in sheds to be alert and cautious as the city experiences extreme weather.

The chief minister directed municipal authorities to take all necessary steps required to handle the situation and asked deputy commissioners to help them.

Shah also directed government hospitals to improve their available facilities and directed police to assist citizens.

Karachi is expected to receive light rain today as a western disturbance that has already caused downpours in Balochistan is entering Sindh and the rest of the country.

The Met Office forecast light rain on Monday and thunderstorm accompanied by a dust storm on Tuesday.

Many other parts of Sindh and elsewhere in the country will also experience similar weather patterns in the coming two days, said officials at the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

They said a shallow westerly wave had already affected parts of the country. “Under the influence of this weather system, dust storms and thunderstorms are expected at various places in Sindh,” the weatherman said.

Sukkur, Larkana, Benazirabad, Hyderabad and Karachi divisions are likely to be affected by the system.

The rains will bring mercury downward with maximum temperatures are expected to remain 32 degrees Celsius.