Flash floods in Karachi keep Pakistan expats in UAE worried

Pakistan, UAE, Flood

Dubai - Many expats in the UAE said their Eid plans were affected.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Tue 13 Aug 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:47 AM

With monsoon rains causing floods in large parts of the Pakistani city of Karachi, many expats in the UAE said their Eid plans were affected. Some shared worry for their relatives back home as news of flash floods and electrocution flashed on their TV and mobile screens.
Sharjah resident Yasmin Shaukat was all set to fly to Karachi on Tuesday but she is in two minds now, due to the incessant rains.
"I have a flight tomorrow to Karachi and I was going for two main reasons. One to meet my brothers and sisters on Eid and secondly to get all the bank work, shopping and hall arrangements for my daughter's wedding. But I am worried now as I heard that there is four-feet waterlog in our neighbourhood. I am not sure if the shops and banks will open in this condition. Also since I work in the UAE, I have limited leaves but as per the Meteorological Department of Karachi, more heavy rains are expected next week. So, I do not know if my going there at this point will be fruitful. I am just taking a chance," said a worried Shaukat.
Sarah Ahmed, who landed in Dubai on Sunday for Eid celebrations with her family, said the drive from her home in Clifton Block 2 to the airport has never taken so long.
"It would usually take us about 45 minutes from our home to the airport but yesterday the SUV we were travelling in was half-submerged in water as we made way to the Karachi airport. It took us two-and-a-half hours just to reach there. It was scary as the water reached the bonnet of our vehicle. Thank God, I left home a good five hours ahead of time due to the flooding and made it just in time for the flight."
Sadaf Ather, another expatriate, said she had initially planned to celebrate Eid Al Adha back home in Karachi but with the torrential rains battering her hometown, she had postponed the plans. "It would rain in Karachi but it never was this bad. A couple of young motorists in my area were electrocuted as the wires weren't insulated. And with the flooding, people have to wade in knee-deep waters. It is quite a scary thing and I do not want to take the risk of travelling with my children at this point of time."
Speaking to Khaleej Times from Karachi, Qamar Jahan, an asthma patient in her late 70s, said she had an asthma attack two days ago but the ambulance could not reach her due to the flooding. "Luckily, it was not so bad and I survived until the Agha Khan Hospital sent a lab attendant and doctor to my place to check on me. Old and sick people like me are unable to step out of the house due to the heavy rains, and to make matters worse, there is no electricity. I have never witnessed such a downpour here. I hope government makes better arrangements to deal with the situation," said Jehan, whose son is based in Dubai.
Another resident who landed in Karachi on Sunday said there was no taxi service from the airport, making it hard for many tourists to move out of the airport.
Since the beginning of monsoon rains this month, dozens of people have been killed because of flash floods, electrocution and roofs collapsing.

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