I was really struck by the above photo that captured this past weekend’s torrential downpour in Karachi. According to CNN, the monsoon rains in Pakistan’s commercial capital “killed dozens, cut power to 15 million and broke a 32-year record.” Dawn on Monday reported that 41 people were killed by “rain-related deaths.”
CNN spoke to fellow twitterer Aly (aka: discomaulvi) who said, “The entire city is disrupted. Most places lost power for 28 to 30 hours, and some are still without power. The rain flooded offices. We lost water. Everything is shut down.”
Senior news anchor Naveen Naqvi wrote on Dawn’s blog: “It was a gorgeous storm, perfect even… And then, all hell broke loose. Within a few hours (and that’s the most charitable account I can give), KESC (Karachi Electricity Supply Company) had turned off the power in most parts of the city. Not only were we dealing with a storm the likes of which this city has apparently not seen since 1977, we were doing so without electricity.”
Saba Imtiaz said it best though, when she blogged, “9:50 PM: Put old towels on floor to mop water. They’re wet in a second. Sacrifice two old t-shirts to the cause. Utterly useless. Beg God, asking Him why he has forsaken me. No answer. He’s probably trying to get through to KESC as well.”
The government reportedly began clean-up of the city Monday, but following reports of protestors throwing rocks and burning tires in anti-KESC riots this past weekend, I’d venture to guess the electricity company is currently one of the most unpopular organizations in Pakistan (or at least Karachi). And that’s saying a lot.