KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has announced a holiday in the province on Friday after heavy rains lashed several cities including Karachi, a statement from the CM House said Thursday.
In a statement issued Thursday evening, Murad Ali Shah said all public, semi-private and private institutions will remain closed throughout the province. Institutions providing essential services, however, will remain open on Friday as will local bodies, health, water board, PDMA, and revenue offices.
Earlier, while speaking on Geo News programme Capital Talk, he defended the situation in Karachi by saying such intense rains would wreak similar havoc in any other city.
"Our ministers and MPAs are out in the field," Shah said. "We have arranged for people impacted [by the rains] to be shifted to schools and marriage halls."
The chief minister said several cities including Karachi could be declared calamity-hit.
He said the Sindh government was trying to ensure the pumps to drain stagnated rainwater continue working. Navy and military teams, he added, were participating in the rescue work across the city.
"The situation is obviously concerning since a 100-year [rain] record broke," Shah said, advising people of Karachi against stepp ing out unnecessarily.
He added that those who were stranded in their offices should remain where they were. "The situation doesn't allow for anyone to leave their home or offices," he added. "Stay wherever your are!"
"We are trying to save the pumps in Mehmoodabad Treatment Plant 2," he explained, warning that if those stopped working, the effect would be felt in numerous areas, including P.E.C.H.S.
Speaking of his visit to rural Sindh yesterday, he said the situation there was dire as well, given the damage caused by the storm.
"Mud houses in rural Sindh have collapsed" due to the rain, the chief minister noted, adding that the crops there had been badly affected as well.