KARACHI: At least four people were killed and around a dozen others were injured after a massive dust storm blanketed the coastal city of Karachi on Tuesday evening following a severe heat spell that lasted two days, rescue officials said.
“The dust storm was caused due to the influence of the cyclone system being in southern Pakistan’s vicinity combined with local weather conditions,” Chief Meteorological Officer Sardar Sarfraz told Dawn. According to him, the city could experience gusty winds again until the cyclone system is out of the region.
According to Rescue 1122 officials, an eight-year-old boy fell from the third floor of a residential building near the Teen Talwar roundabout due to gusty winds and dust storm. He died on the spot and identified as Shan. Another child was killed after the wall of a house collapsed in the Sher Shah area. Four other people sustained injuries after a wall fell on them in Baldia Town, rescue officials said.
The sudden change in weather pattern brought with it severe power outages in various neighbourhoods, including Saddar, Lyari, Malir, New Karachi, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Korangi. However, the city’s sole power supply company, K-Electric, insisted that the operation of the company remained intact and only a few areas were facing outages due to “technical faults”.
“Due to the severe dust storm, electricity supply was affected in a few areas of Karachi,” said its announcement on the company’s social media platform. “Teams are working for quick restoration. Around 300 feeders out of 1,900 feeders are affected. Our field teams are working on-ground around the clock to ensure consistent power supply to our customers.”
According to the forecast, a few dust/thunderstorm-rain accompanied with gusty winds of 30-50 kmph is expected in Pakistan Tharparkar and Umerkot districts in the next 12 hours but the country’s coastal areas are largely considered to not be under threat. “Hot and dry weather will continue today in Karachi, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benzirabad, Badin and Mirpurkhas districts,” the department said in its report.