Another day has passed, and the floods in Karachi due to rainfall continue to wreak havoc on the city and its residents. The issue is beyond that of drainage and sewage now; the survival of residents trapped without electricity, food, water and even mobile signals is constantly under threat. 23 people have lost their lives so far, mostly due to building collapses and electrocution, and respite might still not be on the cards, as the meteorological department has indicated that the metropolis might see even more rainfall on Friday and the preceding days. Both provincial and federal governments must first look to offer relief efforts where needed; this work is already in progress, according to government functionaries. Granted, this is the city’s heaviest rainfall in the last 53 years, but this is also the biggest city of our country, and home to the largest number of inhabitants. And the effects of 8-12 feet of water in some of Karachi’s biggest thoroughfares are not only restricted to the provincial capital alone. It must be remembered that the port city is also the biggest contributor to the national economy, and right now, its financial centre on I A Chundrigar road is still inundated. It is still too early to calculate the loss Pakistan’s economy has incurred because of just a few days of rain. There is no doubt it; Pakistan is at threat from climate change, but Sindh is even at more threat, compared to other regions. Karachi’s weather patterns in the last two decades are indicative of this. Rising sea levels, a shrinking winter and now unpredictable rainfall is only a taste of what is coming. This is the kind of reality check that we need; Pakistan must take climate action seriously and diplomatically engage other countries to do so as well. That is the only sure-fire way to protect Karachi from what is almost inevitable now.
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