Five dead, several hurt as gusty winds hit Karachi

Karachi likely to receive another cold wave as strong winds subside

At least five people died in Karachi on Friday in different accidents when powerful winds hit the city, turning the weather dusty.

According to reports, the deaths were reported in Kaneez Fatima Society, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Sher Shah and North Karachi. Meanwhile, police revealed that a man died after being electrocuted in Landhi area.

A resident of Karachi’s North Nazimabad area died as the wall of his residence collapsed; while two more people, including a woman, were injured in the Mawach Goth area when a wall collapsed in similar circumstances. Rescuers said that a man in Orangi Town sustained injuries when an electricity pole, uprooted by strong winds, fell on him. The strong winds also caused trees to fall and damage “loose structures” such as tents.

The Annual Convocation of the University of Karachi – which was set to take place on January 22 – has been postponed owing to the bad weather. A new date will be announced later, according to university.

Sardar Sarfaraz, chief meteorologist at the Meteorological Office, explained in a video clip that the pressure gradient was high in western Balochistan and Iran due to the presence of a westerly low-pressure weather system in the eastern parts of Balochistan adjoining south Punjab and upper Sindh. This, he said, had triggered gusty winds in Karachi.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Office said in a statement that strong winds were blowing in the city from the west at 25-30 knots (1kn equals 1.852kilometres per hour) as the result of a “steep pressure gradient”. It also said the winds’ speed can escalate to 63kmph in coastal areas.

According to reports, Karachi is likely to receive another cold wave as the strong winds subside, with the PMD forecasting a sharp drop in the temperature. Mercury is likely to drop to single digits and range from 8 to 9 degrees Celsius from January 22-26, weather pundits said. According to the Met Office, a system of westerly winds is heading towards south Punjab and strong winds and a moderate wave of cold is expected under the system’s influence. It said the temperature in most cities of Sindh may drop further under the influence of this westerly system, ranging between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius.

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