Acting on the warning indicated in the meteorological department’s forecast for Cyclone Shaheen, the district administration of Karachi has issued orders to remove all unsafe billboards from the city.
In the past, billboards and hoardings uprooted by stormy winds have caused loss of life and property in the metropolis.
As gusts of winds, blowing at more than 30km per hour, brought down trees and electricity poles, Karachi Commissioner Naveed Ahmed Sheikh directed all the deputy commissioners to get unsafe billboards removed in their districts on an urgent basis.
He directed the administrative heads of the districts to make an emergency visit to their respective districts and inspect the presence of billboards installed on buildings, roofs, and other unsafe places and order their removal.
The commissioner also appealed to the citizens to exercise precaution and remain confined to their homes during this time and avoid leaving their homes unnecessarily, especially for outings to the sea.
In view of public safety, Commissioner Sheikh has imposed Section 144 on beaches barring people from heading to the seaside till October 15.
Power poles, trees uprooted
Three poles fell due to strong winds in front of Millennium Shopping Mall in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Fortunately, no casualties were reported but a rickshaw was destroyed.
According to details, strong winds and gusts continued to blow in different parts of the city yesterday. In the afternoon, three poles fell in front of the Millennium Shopping Mall in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Fortunately, no casualties were reported as the three poles fell.
Traffic on the road was suspended for some time. Traffic police personnel immediately diverted the traffic to alternative routes.
Shortly afterward the machinery reached the spot and the poles were removed from the road after which the flow of traffic was restored.
An electricity pole also fell on a rickshaw, while in another incident a power pole fell on a car near Frere Hall. However, no casualties were reported.
Power utility expresses remorse
K-Electric has expressed immense grief over various rain-related incidents that occurred in the city causing damage to the public property and infrastructure.
According to KE’s official spokesperson, subsequent to the heavy spell of rain in the metropolis, the incident of a tree falling in the area near Frere Hall Park caused damage to the electric pole of the power entity and the vehicle parked in its surrounding.
After which the K-Electric teams immediately reached the spot of the incident to tackle the situation. Due to precautionary measures, the power supply was temporarily shut down in the area which has been restored now, KE spokesperson said.
KE further advised the citizens to adopt all necessary precautionary measures during the rainfall spell by maintaining a distance from power infrastructure including poles, transformers, downed power lines, and PMTs in order to avoid any untoward incident.
Emergency relief review
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to CM Waqar Mehdi presided over a meeting on rain emergency at the office of Deputy Commissioner West Karachi. The district abounds in slums and impoverished areas remain vulnerable to urban flooding due to the Lyari River and seafront.
West Municipal Commissioner Ashfaq Mallah said they have set up rain emergency points at various places and teams have been equipped with 14 dewatering pumps to remove clogged rainwater in affected areas.
Separately, Provincial Minister for Excise & Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla visited Saddar, Clifton, Lyari and other areas along with the South district deputy commissioner to review storm preps.
Police deploy special units
Rain emergency has been declared in the city following the forecast of possible heavy rains by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) in Karachi and all field commanders have been directed by the Karachi Police Chief Imran Yaqub Minhas to remain in their designated areas and be prepared to handle the emergency situation.
According to a spokesperson, officers and personnel from Karachi Police Operations and Traffic and all SDPOs, SHOs, and Traffic SOs will be present on the roads.
The Rain Emergency Unit of the Special Security Unit is also prepared to deal with the urban flood situation and help the people.
Patrol police vehicles are equipped with the necessary tools, tubes, and equipment, besides items to be used to remove vehicles stuck in the rain. All the officers of the traffic police will provide full assistance to the citizens in removing their vehicles.
According to the spokesman of the Traffic Police, in view of the rain forecast for Karachi by PMD, DIG Traffic Iqbal Dara has issued special instructions to the SPs, DSPs, and Section House Officers of all the districts.
Traffic police will deploy its vehicle lifters and cranes to clear stranded cars from roads. To know the traffic situation, citizens can call the Traffic Police Helpline 1915 or tune in to Traffic Police Radio FM-88.6 for updates.