KARACHI — At least 20 people have been killed in Karachi, the financial capital of Pakistan, with roads turning to rivers as the crippled sewage system of the country’s biggest city struggled to cope with incessant rains over the last few days.
Monsoon rains lashed the city for a fifth straight day, forcing authorities to use boats to evacuate people trapped in flooded streets.
Downed power lines caused widespread electrical outages across the city, adding misery to the lives of many of the city’s 15 million residents.
Hundreds of houses situated along the main Lyari and Malir rivers were washed away, forcing the residents to leave their belongings and houses for safer places.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan assured the provincial government of the federal help in dealing with the devastation caused by the flooding in the city.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the Pakistani premier said: “My govt is fully cognizant of the suffering of our people in the wake of the heavy rains, especially the people of Karachi. I am personally monitoring the relief & rescue operations & am in constant contact with Chairman NDMA & Governor Sindh for regular updates.”
“Have directed Chairman NDMA to immediately not only rescue stranded people but also provide emergency medical assistance, food & shelter to all those in need. I have also asked NDMA Chairman to ensure restoration of utilities on an emergency basis.”
“We will be announcing a plan for a permanent solution to the problems caused by floods by cleaning of nullahs, fixing of the sewage system & resolving the huge challenge of water supply to the ppl of Karachi. We will not abandon the people of Karachi in their time of crisis,” the premier added.